Bible Character: Timothy

Bible Character: Timothy

Today will study the life of a believer in the New Testament who later joined apostle Paul with his missionary journey.

Apostle Paul also had him as a special representative on several occasions.

He was from Lystra.

He was raised by his mother and grandmother. He then came into the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ.

All right. Let us go to the key verse for this lesson together.

Please go to [Philippians 2:20-22]. 

Philippians 2:20 For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.

Philippians 2:21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.

Philippians 2:22 But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.

The Bible tells us that Timothy was raised by his mother and grandmother.

2 Timothy 1:5  When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.

His mother’s name was Eunice. 

His grandmother’s name was Lois.

Timothy was the son of a mixed marriage.  

His mother was Jewish.

We did not know much about his father except that he was a Greek.

Acts 16:1 Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:

Timothy had a Greek name as Timotheus.

According to [2 Timothy 1:5], we can see a picture of Timothy’s early life.

His mother and grandmother were of faithful family. 

They instructed Timothy with the knowledge of the scriptures. They taught him the hope of the coming of the Messiah of Israel.

We see an excellent application here. 

The family has a vital role in helping prepare the children to come to the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Sadly, this role is now only left to the church or the pastor or Sunday School teacher.

Based on [Acts 16:1], Timothy was living at Lystra when apostle Paul first visited that city.

Next let us read [Acts 16: 2-3].

Acts 16:2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.

Acts 16:3 Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.

The Bible tells us that Timothy had a good report of himself. 

He was well known of his Christian conducts among the brothers and sisters in Christ living at Lystra and Iconium.

Apostle Paul then took Timothy to join him with his missionary journey.

The scripture shows us that Timothy has never been circumcised until he met apostle Paul.

We learned that Timothy’s mother was Jewish while his father was a Greek.

This mixed marriage was not well accepted.

The circumcision of Jewish males showed God’s covenant with Israel as the chosen and set apart nation by God. 

Apostle Paul saw the potential of Timothy to preach the gospel.

Oftentimes, when apostle Paul preached the gospel, he went to the synagogues.

It is a gathering of people, a congregation, and a place of prayer.

Uncircumcised Jewish males were not well received by those who did circumcise.

Apostle Paul knew that it would be wise for Timothy to be circumcised to reach, and minister to those unsaved Jewish people.

The Bible teaches us that circumcision has nothing to do with the salvation of the soul.

Let us read [Colossians 3:11].

Colossians 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

Regardless of nationality and race, when we are saved, we all are one in Christ.

There is no difference.

On last Wednesday night this week, we talked about the liberty of Christians.

Let us go to [1 Corinthians 9:20].

1 Corinthians 9:20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;

Would Timothy need to be circumcised?

Not really.

He had liberty not to do so.

But he did circumcise for the sake of the gospel to reach those unsaved Jewish people.

This showed us a real Christian character.

A Christian who used his liberty for the benefit of others and to see them get saved.

Later, apostle Paul assigned Timothy to oversee the church at Ephesus [1 Timothy 1:3].

1 Timothy 1:3  As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,

What are the lessons learned today?

1. Parents have an essential role in raising the children and leading them to Jesus Christ. 

2. Christian liberty should be exercised for the benefits of others.


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