S104P2 – The disciple Timothy: of good repute

Acts 16:1-2

Then he came to Derbe and Lystra.  And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek.  He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium.

He had spent enough time working for other people, and he made the decision to open his own garage.  From the beginning, he knew that he could not operate this business as a one-man show.  That would limit his business potential tremendously, and he would have to turn away clients.  He started to look for another mechanic who could work under him yet still be relatively independent.  It did not take long for several young men in the area to approach him about this position.  It was a small town, and everyone who wanted the job knew him in some way.  When he finally decided which man to hire, his wife asked him why he chose the applicant with the least experience.  He told her that he selected the young man who had the town’s trust.

Paul’s selection of Timothy was informed by what mattered about him, not what did not matter.  Timothy was only half Jewish, and that still mattered to some believers in this early time of the Church.  In fact, the next verses in this chapter tell us that Timothy endured circumcision so that he would be able to travel with Paul, and the only reason for the circumcision was because of what some of the people believed.  However, the fact that Timothy was part Greek simply did not matter to Paul.  He was a disciple who was held in high esteem by the brethren, and that is what mattered.  Despite his cultural heritage, the brothers and sisters in Lystra and Iconium respected him as a believer.  This was the kind of student Paul needed to find to carry on his work.

This is our introduction to Timothy.  We do not know whether in his youth he ever received a prophetic word that would lead him to study the scriptures because he believed he would go into ministry one day.  We do not know the conversation which occurred between Paul and Timothy when this discipleship relationship was offered and accepted.  Many details are missing, but we can be sure of one thing.  Timothy was obedient in his studying of the scriptures and living in a manner pleasing to God before he met Paul.  His reputation preceded him, and that was the sign Paul needed.  The young Greek being admired by the believing Jews for his character and faith spoke volumes.  Father, lead us in the way we are to go now so that we will be prepared for any discipleship opportunities that await us then.