Timothy, 1 Thessalonians 1

Timoth, 1 Thess 1This week we continue our study of 1 Thess 1:1 by reviewing the life of Timothy and his spiritual gift of Pastor Teacher.

1 “Paul, Silas and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians
in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace and peace to you.”

The next word we see is the Greek word Kaiκαί (kahee) = And, Even, Also, But, (Coordinating Conjunction)

Coordinating Paul and Silas with the next addressee:

“Timothy” – (noun; nominative, masculine, singular). The meaning of his name is, “That which is paid in token of worth or value, a value, money paid, valuables, precious, price; a high degree of esteem, dignity, honor.”

Timothy” – Timotheus – Τιμόθεος (tee-moth’-eh-os), which means, “Valued or Precious One from God;” The companion of Paul.

Timothy was the son of a mixed marriage that though unlawful, was frequent in the later periods of the Jewish dispensation.  His mother was a Jewess; whereas, his father, whose name is unknown, was a Greek. Acts 16:1.

Acts 16:1, “Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. And a disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek.”

Timothy had a good reputation as a Christian.  He was very positive toward the word of God and Paul’s teachings.  Acts 16:2; 1 Cor 4:17; 16:10.

Acts 16:2, “and he was well spoken of by the brethren who were in Lystra and Iconium.”

Timothy came to this repute because of His grandmother Lois and mother Eunice raising him in the Old Testament Scriptures,  2 Tim 1:5; 3:15.  Though he was far removed from the larger colonies of the Israelite families, he was brought up in a thoroughly Jewish atmosphere.

Timothy most likely learned about salvation by means of “Faith Alone in Christ Alone” when Paul visited Lystra and Iconium on his first missionary journey. Acts 14:6 cf

During Paul’s second missionary journey he revisited Lystra and met Timothy.  Seeing that Timothy’s faith was strong and that he potentially had the gift of Pastor-Teacher, Paul took Timothy with him for the remainder of his 2nd Journey.

As was Paul’s custom, he first witness to the Jews in each city, and since Timothy was half Jewish, Paul circumcised Timothy in hopes that the Jews would accept him.

Acts 16:3, “Paul wanted this man to go with him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.”

This was one of the instances were Paul blew it in his Christian walk.  He was fighting strongly not to impose on the Gentiles the Jewish Law and did not need to placate to the Jews by circumcising Timothy.

Gal 2:3, “But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.”

Gal 6:13, “For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh.”

1 Cor 9:21–22; 7:18- 20; Col 2:11-14; 3:1

View your own map of Asia Minor: From Lystra, Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy traveled to Thessalonica and then fled to Berea.  The Judaizers followed them to persecute them further.

1 Thess 2:14, “For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews.”

Paul left Timothy and Silvanus at Berea.  Acts 17:14

Paul sent Timothy back to Thessalonica to see how the church was progressing, in fear that their persecutors were defeating them, 1 Thess 3:2, 6.  Timothy then rejoins Paul at Corinth with encouraging news about the Thessalonians, and Paul writes and 2 Thess to correct some points of their doctrine and false accusations about Paul’s motives.  Acts 17:15; 18:5

There is a quiet period of about five years in Timothy’s life, until he resurfaces during Paul’s third missionary journey.

On Paul’s third missionary journey, he sent Timothy along with Erastus into Macedonia to evangelize and revisit existing churches. Acts 19:22

Timothy is rejoined by Paul and accompanies him back to Asia.  Acts 20:1-4

Paul sends Timothy to the Corinthian church to be there Pastor-Teacher.  1 Cor 4:17; 16:10, 11; 2 Cor 1:19.

Timothy may have also been sent again to Philippi.  Phil 2:19, 22, 23

Timothy was left by Paul at Ephesus to oversee the church there and others in Asia Minor.

1 Tim 1:3, “As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer.”

Timothy was imprisoned with Paul in Rome. Phil 2:19-23; Philem 1; Heb 13:23.

Paul and Timothy had a tremendous relationship as spiritual father and son.  Their travels and journeys together were numerous, as evident by the salutations of Paul, to various local assemblies and the brethren, where he includes Timothy as a co-worker and soldier.

Timothy joins Paul in the Epistle to the:

  • Philippians, Phil 1:1
  • Colossians, Col 1:1, 2
  • Thessalonians, 1 Thess 1:1; 2 Thess 1:1
  • Philemon, Philem 1;1 Corinthians, and in Hebrews

Paul wrote to Timothy while Pastoring the Ephesus church, and it is apparent that although Paul dearly loved Timothy and sent him on important missions, Timothy by nature was shy and hesitant.  As a result, Paul’s words seem at times to go beyond encouragement, to exhortation, and down-right chewing out.