April 20, 2023 – Thursday
Acts 16:1-2 NIV
1 Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek. 2 The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him.
Paul and Barnabas had a disagreement at the end of chapter 15. Then Barnabas with John Mark set sail to Cyprus. Silas was chosen by Paul to accompany him as 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. Timothy was not described as a believer as his mother was and those who spoke well of him. 1 Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek. 2 The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him.
Many versions match the NIV and call Timothy a disciple, but a number of others describe him as a certain disciple. So, there was something about him that made him stand out as a disciple. We are very clearly told his mother is Jewish and a believer. Of his father we only know he was a Greek, a Gentile, and we may assume he was an unbeliever. But what is a disciple? According to Strong’s and Thayer’s a disciple is a learner, a pupil to which I would add a student (synonym of pupil) as he was always seeking to learn more and more.
His mother was not a disciple but a believer. According to Strong’s and Thayer’s again, respectfully a believer is faithful (loyalty to faith; literally, fullness of faith) and trusty, faithful; of persons who show themselves faithful of God, abiding by his promises. In verse 2, we are told believers or brethren/brothers spoke well of him. Of course, brothers or brethren are members of the same religious community, especially fellow-Christians.
As we read through Acts and Paul’s letters it becomes obvious how trusted Paul finds Timothy. He even writes of him as his son in the faith and has two letters to him. Why? Because there is great reason to believe the doctrines and precepts of the gospel will be successfully taught by Timothy. He would ensure believers were confirmed in the Christian faith, because it set up a spiritual way of serving God, as suited to the nature both of God and man. (Matthew Henry)
One commentary, Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible, says this about Timothy, and behold a certain disciple was there: a converted person, a believer in Christ, one that had learned to know and deny himself, and understood the way of salvation by Christ, and was a follower of him. This seems something of a stretch until you consider all we learn about Timothy in the rest of the New Testament.
Bottom Line: Timothy was different. Not only was he a believer, but he wanted to know and learn more about what it meant to live as a believer and to teach others the Good News as well.
Prayer: Almighty God, Thank You for raising up men like Timothy to carry on the work of Paul. You have embued so many with the desire to continue teaching the word we have of the original Apostles so that we have not only the canon, but their teachings on the same. Thank You. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton