Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek.

Acts 16:1-5

Luke introduces his readers to Timothy. Paul and Barnabas had established a church in Lystra on their first missionary journey. Now, we meet Timothy, a Christian, in the church at Lystra along with his mother and grandmother whom we will meet later. Timothy, a young man, has a Christian, Jewish mother and a Greek, non-Christian, father. Apparently, Timothy is well thought of by the Christians in Lystra and Iconium. Paul determines for himself the depth of Timothy’s faith and desires to take Timothy with him as they continue their missionary journey. Timothy was considered to be Jewish because of his mother being Jewish. For this reason, Paul circumcised Timothy for the sake of the Jews the missionaries would encounter as they travelled. A reason for this journey included the presenting of the letter from the church in Jerusalem that had been written after the first Church Council that determined the things that should be observed by all Christians everywhere at that time. Through the teaching and preaching of Paul and Silas, the churches were strengthened in their faith and they increased in numbers. In this short story, we see the Apostle Paul as he visits churches he had helped to establish; he observes the condition of each church; updates each church on changes the whole body of Christ observes; takes on a disciple to teach and will become Paul’s protégé; teaches and preaches the good news of the gospel; and, helps each church to grow in faith and numbers. Paul first set the example of the missionary to take the gospel to the Gentiles. Now, Paul is the example of the pastor of a church, tending to each church’s needs for sanctification through preaching; teaching new converts; leading each church to proclaim the gospel boldly; and, developing those among each congregation to be elders and leaders in the church. When Christians, today, are faced with changes in their church leadership, Paul is a good example to learn from as to how to make changes that are true to the faith and our Savior and Lord Jesus.

Source: S C Ball July 10, 2023