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Timothy the Discipler

Timothy the Discipler

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
Timothy was a rare young man who submitted to Paul and then trained others to be disciples.
Timothy was a rare young man who submitted to Paul and then trained others to be disciples.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Nov 25, 2009
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11/24/2009

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TIMOTHY THE DISCIPLER Based on II Tim. 2:1-13By Pastor Glenn PeaseThe Chinese once started to kill all the sparrows because they were eating somuch rice and seed. They reasoned that this was a waste and they would bebetter off without them. But then they discovered they were losing more foodwithout them than with them. The birds not only ate seed but insects as well,and without the birds to control the insects the insects were destroying the cropbefore the harvest. They learned to leave the birds alone and let them eat part of the crop, for without them there was no crop at all.The people of Brazil and Argentina decided to wipe out the jungle cats andowls for they appeared to be a nuisance of no value. Then they found themselvesoverrun with disease carrying rats. This story is repeated over and over bypeople all through history as men in their supposed wisdom conclude that Godmade some sort of mistake when He made certain creatures they do not like.What man quickly learns is that it is a mistake to ever think anything Godmakes is a mistake.This same principle applies to people. If man was allowed to form acommittee to advise God on how to create an ideal world of people, he would, nodoubt, urge God to forget the present process of producing infinite variety.They would lean toward Hitler’s idea of a super race, and have all the womenlook like Marilyn Monroe, and all the men look like Clark Gable. Everybodywould be beautiful, handsome, strong, intelligent, and multi-gifted.As we study Bible characters the one thing that stands out clearly is that Goddid not heed such advice if some angelic committee suggested it. Biblecharacters are all so different even though they have much in common. No twoare alike, and it is folly to think that this is a mistake. God obviously intendedpeople to be different and unique, and one of the most foolish things we can do isto assume that some kinds of people are not really necessary. Racism is based onthis mistake, and so also most all forms of discrimination. As every form of animal adds to the balance of nature, so every form of personality adds to thebalance of human society, and to the balance of the body of Christ.Timothy is so much different than many of the characters we have studied.Most well known Bible characters are mature adults, but Timothy is actually ateenager when he first comes on the scene. He is mature for his age, but he isyoung, and so he adds to the balance of the age factor. Young and old alike areused by God. Scholars feel that Timothy was probably only 16 years old whenhe began his ministry with Paul. He was to Paul what John was to Jesus. Johnwas the disciple that Jesus most loved. Both Timothy and John were just youngpeople, but they both made excellent disciples.
 
Listen to the compliment Paul gave Timothy in Phil. 2:19-22: “I hope in theLord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when Ireceive news about you. I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interestin your welfare. For everyone looks out for his own interest, not those of JesusChrist. But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son withhis father he has served with me in the work of the Gospel.”Timothy was the son Paul could never have, and he had nothing but joy inthis father-son relationship. In I Tim. 1:2 he addresses Timothy as, “My trueson in the faith.” In I Cor. 4:17 he writes, “Timothy, my son whom I love, who isfaithful in the Lord.” Did Paul have a son? Yes he did, and it was Timothy. Hewas born into the family of God by watching Paul go through great suffering,and by having a willingness to die for his Lord. This was a sort of male laborpains that gave birth to a new soul in the kingdom. This is how it happened:Paul had been stoned and left for dead outside Lystra, the home town of Timothy. He was taken somewhere to recover, and the evidence points to thehome of Timothy where his devout mother and grandmother took care of him.That is where he became acquainted with the family.The reason scholars believe this is because of what Paul wrote to Timothy inII Tim. 3:10-11. “You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, mypurpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings-what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions Iendured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.As a teenager Timothy saw what Paul went through, and he wanted to followPaul and be his disciple. Here was commitment, and he never let Paul down. Hewas like a son, and that explains why out of the 4 personal letters of Paul in theNew Testament 2 of them are to Timothy. The other 2 are those to Titus andPhilemon. But Timothy is the only person in history to have 2 letters written tohim by Paul which became a part of the Bible.He represents the very best of discipleship, for he was a faithful follower of another. He followed Paul with the same loyalty as Paul followed Christ. Beinga Timothy involves being a disciple and then discipling others. But before welook at that lets pursue our grasp of just how different Timothy was. He wasyoung, but he was also a half-breed. Timothy was half Jew and half Gentile.This has often been a handicap to people all through history, and it created someproblems for Timothy as well.In Acts 16:1-3 we read this interesting biographical information aboutTimothy: “He came to Derby and then to Lystra where a disciple namedTimothy lived, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father wasa Greek. The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. Paul wanted totake him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews wholived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.”
 
What an eye opener into his family background. Timothy’s dad was a paganand he resisted his mother, for a Jewish mother would have had her baby boycircumcised. So we see the danger of a mixed marriage in carrying out religiousconvictions. Paul had to circumcise Timothy or the Jews they were trying toreach would not give heed to this half-breed. Here was a case of being all thingsto all men to reach them. Timothy was willing as a teenager to go this route tobe a disciple.Timothy was willing to suffer and to pay a price to be a disciple of Paul. Nowonder he was Paul’s favorite, for he was the ideal disciple. That is why hereceived the two letters he did, for he was very teachable, and so Paul gave a lotof time and energy to teaching him. To be a Timothy means to be willing to beinstructed. It involves being a real student. Any Christian who goes off toschool to learn the Bible better is a Timothy. Any adult who decides to keep anotebook and build a library to study the Word is a Timothy. Being a Timothyis a commitment of life to be a disciple. The ideal that fits the facts of the NewTestament is a younger person committed to work with a older person to learnand become the kind of Christian they are.A disciple is one who is willing to be an over comer of obstacles. Timothywas young and a product of a mixed marriage. He needed to be circumcised, buthe did not let any of this block his way. Many people are disciples as long as theway is smooth, but let it get rough and they are gone. A Timothy sticks to it, andthat is exactly why Paul was so pleased with him, for John Mark, another youngman, had just forsaken Paul before he came to Timothy’s home town. Paul wasvery upset about this instability. To find a youth like Timothy was just what heneeded to restore his faith in younger Christians. Timothy was Paul’s bestassistant ever.The last letter Paul wrote before he was executed was Second Timothy.Tradition tells us that Timothy was martyred by a mob in Ephesus when he was80 years old. John the Apostle also lived in Ephesus. What a combination theywere. The young man that Jesus loved and the young man that Paul lovedtogether as old soldiers of the cross. One the joys of heaven will be to hear thesetwo share stories of their work together in Ephesus. You cannot eliminate theyoung or the old in God’s work, for the New Testament reveals that they areboth vital to the plan of God.Discipleship is a sort of spiritual cloning. It is taking what you have learnedand become and then passing it on to others so they become a duplication. Weare not dealing with paper, but with people, and so it is not a matter of carboncopying. None of Jesus’ disciples were just like Him, nor were any of them justlike each other. But they all came to understand the truths Jesus came to reveal,and they all became like Him in spirit. So Timothy did not become a Paul. Hewas different in many ways, but he became a communicator of the same message

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