Sunday, December 1, 2013
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV).
We have often heard the expression “timid Timothy,” but have you ever wondered why he was timid?
Paul first met this Hebrew-Greek Christian Timothy back in Acts chapter 16, on his second apostolic journey. Acts 16:2 says Timothy was “well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium,” so Paul took him along as a traveling companion and ministry coworker. Thereafter, Timothy accompanied Paul during his travels and helped him in his ministry (he was also known as “Timotheus;” Acts 17:14,15; Acts 18:5; Acts 19:22; Acts 20:4; Romans 16:21; 1 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Corinthians 16:10; 2 Corinthians 1:19; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:2,6; 2 Thessalonians 1:1).
Years later, at the close of the book of Acts, Paul was held in Rome under house arrest for two years (Acts 28:30,31). After his release, he went on other apostolic journeys. It was during this time that he left Timothy in Ephesus, and then wrote 1 Timothy (1:3). Some years later, Paul was rearrested and imprisoned, and this is when he wrote a second and final epistle to Timothy, our Bible book of 2 Timothy (the context of today’s Scripture).
Timothy was considerably younger than Paul. Hence, Paul called Timothy “[his] son in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 2:2; cf. 1 Corinthians 4:17; Philippians 2:19-22; 1 Timothy 1:18). This is also why Paul admonished Timothy, “Let no man despise thy youth” (1 Timothy 4:12).
Notice, Timothy started out well, but as time went by, today’s Scripture indicates that he grew afraid and weary. Evidently, Timothy was on the verge of quitting his ministry. In fact, Paul reminds Timothy that he greatly desires to see him, “being mindful of [his] tears” (verse 4)—Timothy is under such pressure that he has actually cried.
Just what has Timothy so depressed and fearful, and what can we learn from this? We will search the Scriptures for the answers….