Greetings to the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, angels and saints in Christ. Yesterday I introduced Elder Timothy who travelled with Paul, functioning in the role of a Junior Minister (initially at least). I understand from scriptures that Apostle Paul was very selective about the spiritual state and maturity of the people who accompanied him on his missions. He had a very high calling of preaching the gospel to the gentiles and Jews, establishing churches, ordaining elders, following up the disciples to confirm them and establish them in the faith. His ministry was also accompanied by persecutions. Once can therefore conclude that anyone one on his ministry team would have had to share the same kind of calling that Paul had as well as the ability to endure hardships. We know already that Paul did everything by revelation (Acts 9: 10-20; 13: 1-4; 14:23; Gal 1: 12; 2: 2; Eph 3: 3) and this must have been the manner in which Timothy was selected. Paul’s ability to correctly select the members of his ministry team was revealed clearly in his choice of Elder Silas instead of John Mark. Barnabas and John Mark went off on the same ministry, but obviously the Lord did not approve this choice as evidenced by His silence on Barnabas thereafter in the book of Acts.

WHAT WAS TIMOTHY’S ROLE?

Paul travelled initially with Silas and Timothy although other ministers were added to his team as time went by. This is an excellent means for a seasoned minister to induct a younger one into the ministry. God always has a succession plan. Faithful men must raise up men and women of their caliber, who are able to carry on the work of the ministry, whether you are present here or with the Lord. This is exactly the example and purpose of the Lord Jesus while on earth. On perusing Acts 16, I discovered that Timothy would have observed and/or assisted Paul as he:

* delivered the decrees issued by the Jerusalem assembly on the issue of the circumcision of the Gentiles – (v 4).

* established the churches in the faith as they were encouraged and strengthened in the Lord Jesus Christ – (v 5).

* heard Paul share the vision to go to Macedonia and participated in the efforts to get there (v 9,10).

* preached to Lydia then baptized her household (v 14 – 15)

Timothy was not mentioned in the Acts 16 account in which Paul cast out the devil from the fortune teller, was beaten and imprisoned, then miraculously delivered from prison. I searched diligently to see if Paul had left him in another city. To date I cannot verify that and tentatively conclude that he too, must have been beaten and jailed. If this is the case, why was his name omitted from the sufferings of Acts 16? If he had been beaten, he would have faithfully participated not only in the glory of the ministry, but also in its sufferings. It is no wonder that Paul called him his son. Timothy then travelled with Paul from Phillipi, Macedonia and went to Thessalonica. Once again, the envious Jews stirred up the city when a great multitude of people believed on the Lord (Acts 17: 1-9). For some reason, Timothy’s name was not mentioned in the account when the brethren secretly sent Paul and Silas to Berea in the night (Acts 17: 10-13). However, we discover that Timothy was still with Paul and Silas in Berea when the brethren again sent Paul away to protect him from the Jews who came over from Thessalonica to stir up the people (Acts 17: 13-14). Paul was sent away to Athens for his safety, but Timothy and Silas stayed in Berea, later joining Paul in Athens (Acts 17: 14, 15).

The omission of Timothy’s name from the sufferings of Paul is a msytery to me, yet I hear the Holy Spirit asking “why was his name omitted?” Do you have the answer? Was the writer of the book trying to protect him so that other less seasoned ministers would not be scared into joining Paul’s missions? It could be too that Paul’s enemies Jews did not know Timothy and did not pay much attention to him during the persecutions and arrests. Maybe his role and presence in Paul’s team was not a prominent one. Perhaps we will have the answer on our return. The question is, are your team members willing and able to suffer with you for the sake of the gospel? Until then, God bless!

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