Sometimes your mind wonders to what the people of the Scriptures must have actually looked like. Here we have a letter to Timothy, a young guy who converted to Christianity while Paul was ministering in Lystra. What kind of young man was he? Paul was especially fond of him. He needed a lot of encouragement and spurring on. During Paul’s second missionary journey he took Timothy as his companion when he passed through Lystra again. Some time later he assigned Timothy to the church in Ephesus right into the deep end in the thick of ministry and leadership. Both 1 & 2 Timothy are sent to the young man while he is at Ephesus.
In 1 & 2 Timothy, and Titus, we have Paul’s only letters to individuals. Remember at this stage of church history there is no formalised canon of Scripture to turn to for guidance. They were ironing out many issues as history moved on. Eyewitness apostles and strong voices in the faith were few and far between. Paul knows Ephesus like no other leader. His writing to Timothy shows this clearly. Timothy is to continue the fight against persistent false teachers who encourage a lot of arguing and very little godly living. He is to order the leadership and various other matters in the church. His letter is wholly on practical matters of church life, while sandwiched in between is Paul’s genuine encouragement and support for young Timothy.
This letter is a lesson on many things. We’ll find teaching on practical matters in the church but also for older members in the church working with younger believers who show a good conscience and sincere faith. It is worthy of more than a quick glance through.