Paul, Timothy and their Relationship | David Pafford
The relationship between Paul and Timothy in the New Testament offers a model for mentoring and ministry. Paul referred to Timothy as his. Everyone Needs a Paul, a Timothy and a Barnabas I've heard leadership and relationship coaches say that everyone needs a teacher, a student and a friend. Timothy was an early Christian evangelist and the first first-century Christian bishop of Ephesus His relationship with Paul was close and Paul entrusted him with missions of great importance. Timothy's name appears as the co-author on 2 .
Ministry, and life for that matter, is all about relationships. In our family, in our friendships, and in our churches, we are surrounded by people who God is calling us to engage with in purposeful relationships. These relationships are to be mutually building and sharpening as stated in Proverbs Relationships with Mentors When we first see Paul as a new convert, in Acts 9, one of the first people God brought into his life was Barnabas.
It was Barnabas who reached out to this new believer with a past that had been vehemently opposed to Christians. The believers at the church in Jerusalem were understandably skeptical, but Barnabas bridged the gap and built relationships not only with Paul himself, but also between Paul and the church family.
Barnabas became a mentor for Paul. Later, in Acts 11, when Barnabas was sent out to check on reports of new believers in other regions, he found a thriving group of believers in Antioch who needed shepherding and a church planted for their support and ministry. Barnabas again reached out to young Paul and asked him to come and assist in this church planting ministry. Every servant of the Lord needs a mentor in his life.
They need someone that is older than themselves in years and in ministry who can be a resource of wisdom, knowledge, and experience. Youth is great for energy, but there is little replacement for years of walking with God and learning along the way. Barnabas wisely invested his years of experience into this young man while he benefited from the energy and enthusiasm of the young, zealous, new believer.
In Acts 13, we see God calling this duo of servants out of the church at Antioch to send them to mission work in the regions beyond to reproduce what God had done with them in Antioch. Relationships with Peers In Acts 15, we see Paul and Barnabas back in Antioch reporting to the church family about their missionary service while they had been gone.
During that time, they were sent to Jerusalem to address concerns about some Jewish believers who had come to Antioch and caused some doubt among the Gentile believers in Antioch. In the verses immediately preceding our text he faces the possibility of death.
Here he recognises the uncertainty but still 'trusts' that he will be liberated, but yet he does not know 'how it may go with' him. We think of him in his lodging sometimes hoping and sometimes doubting. He had a tyrant's caprice to depend on, and knew how a moment's whim might end all.
Surely his way of bearing that suspense was very noteworthy and noble. It is difficult to keep a calm heart, and still more difficult to keep on steadily at work, when any moment might bring the victor's axe. Suspense almost enforces idleness, but Paul crowded these moments of his prison time with letters, and Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon are the fruits for which we are indebted to a period which would have been to many men a reason for throwing aside all work.
How calmly too he speaks of the uncertain issue! Surely never was the possibility of death more quietly spoken of than in 'so soon as I shall see how it will go with me. There is no attitudinising here, all is perfectly simple and natural. Can we look, do we habitually look, into the uncertain future with such a temper -- accepting all that may be in its grey mists, and feeling that our task is to fill the present with strenuous loving service, leaving tomorrow with all its alternatives, even that tremendous one of life and death, to Him who will shape it to a perfect end?
We note, further, the purpose of Paul's love. It is beautiful to see how he yearns over these Philippians and feels that his joy will be increased when he hears from them. He is sure, as he believes, to hear good, and news which will be a comfort.
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Among the souls whom he bore on his heart were many in the Macedonian city, and a word from them would be like 'cold water to a thirsty soul. Is there not a lesson here for all Christian workers, for all teachers, preachers, parents, that no good is to be done without loving sympathy?
Unless our hearts go out to people we shall never reach their hearts. We may talk to them for ever, but unless we have this loving sympathy we might as well be silent. It is possible to pelt people with the Gospel, and to produce the effect of flinging stones at them.
Much Christian work comes to nothing mainly for that reason. And how deep a love does he show in his depriving himself of Timothy for their sakes, and in his reason for sending him!
Those reasons would have been for most of us the strongest reason for keeping him. It is not everybody who will denude himself of the help of one who serves him 'as a child serveth a father,' and will part with the only like-minded friend he has, because his loving eye will clearly see the state of others. Paul's expression of his purpose to send Timothy is very much more than a piece of emotional piety. He 'hopes in the Lord' to accomplish his design, and that hope so rooted and conditioned is but one instance of the all-comprehending law of his life, that, to him, to 'live is Christ.
Our hopes should be derived from union with Him.
Saint Timothy - Wikipedia
They should not be the play of our own fancy or imagination. They should be held in submission to him, and ever with the limitation, 'Not as I will, but as Thou wilt. If thus we hope, our hopes may lead us nearer to Jesus instead of tempting us away from Him by delusive brightnesses.
There is a religious use of hope not only when it is directed to heavenly certainties, and 'enters within the veil,' but even when occupied about earthly things. Spenser twice paints for us the figure of Hope, one has always something of dread in her blue eyes, the other, and the other only, leans on the anchor, and 'maketh not ashamed'; and her name is 'Hope in the Lord.
The prisoner solitary among self-seeking men. With wonderful self-surrender the Apostle thinks of his lack of like-minded companions as being a reason for depriving himself of the only like-minded one who was left with him. He felt that Timothy's sympathetic soul would truly care for the Philippians' condition, and would minister to it lovingly. He could rely that Timothy would have no selfish by-ends to serve, but would seek the things of Jesus Christ. We know too little of the circumstances of Paul's imprisonment to know how he came to be thus lonely.
In the other Epistles of the Captivity we have mention of a considerable group of friends, many of whom would certainly have been included in a list of the 'like-minded.
What had become of them all we do not know. They were evidently away on Christian service, somewhere or other, or some of them perhaps had not yet arrived. At all events for some reason Paul was for the time left alone but for Timothy. Not that there were no Christian men in Rome, but of those who could have been sent on such an errand there were none in whom love to Christ and care for His cause and flock were strong enough to mark them as fit for it.
Paul and Timothy
So then we have to take account of Paul's loneliness in addition to his other sorrows, and we may well mark how calmly and uncomplainingly he bears it. We are perpetually hearing complaints of isolation and the difficulty of finding sympathy, or 'people who understand me. And many of these complaining spirits might take a lesson from the lonely Apostle. There never was a man, except Paul's Master and ours, who cared more for human sympathy, had his own heart fuller of it, and received less of it from others than Paul.Let's Talk Perfect Love Part 1 - The Relationship between Paul and Timothy
But he had discovered what it would be blessedness for us all to lay to heart, that a man who has Christ for his companion can do without others, and that a heart in which there whispers, 'Lo, I am with you always,' can never be utterly solitary.
May we not take the further lesson that the sympathy which we should chiefly desire is sympathy and fellow-service in Christian work? Paul did not want like-minded people in order that he might have the luxury of enjoying their sympathy, but what he wanted was allies in his work for Christ. It was sympathy in his care for the Philippians that he sought for in his messenger.
And that is the noblest form of like-mindedness that we can desire -- some one to hold the ropes for us. Note, too, that Paul does not weakly complain because he had no helpers.
Good and earnest men are very apt to say much about the half-hearted way in which their brethren take up some cause in which they are eagerly interested, and sometimes to abandon it altogether for that reason. May not such faint hearts learn a lesson from him who had 'no man like-minded,' and yet never dreamt of whimpering because of it, or of flinging down his tools because of the indolence of his fellow-workers?
There is another point to be observed in the Apostle's words here. He felt that their attitude to Christ determined his affinities with men. He could have no deep and true fellowship with others, whatever their name to live, who were daily 'seeking their own,' and at the same time leaving unsought 'the things of Jesus Christ.
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Must we not say that hosts of so-called Christian people do not seem to feel, if one can judge by the company they affect, that the deepest bond uniting men is that which binds them to Jesus Christ? I would press the question, Do we feel that nothing draws us so close to men as common love to Jesus, and that if we are not alike on that cardinal point there is a deep gulf of separation beneath a deceptive surface of union, an unfathomable gorge marked by a quaking film of earth?
It is a solemn estimate of some professing Christians which the Apostle gives here, if he is including the members of the Roman Church in his judgment that they are not 'like-minded' with him, and are 'seeking their own, not the things of Jesus Christ.