This week we learned about who Timothy and Titus were and about how they traveled with Paul and that he eventually left Timothy at Ephesus and Titus at Crete to work on improving the churches. It is in Paul’s instructions to Timothy and Titus that we are seeking guidance as to how we can have better churches today.
In our first lesson we talked about how Timothy was willing to be circumcised. It is an interesting event and there are many questions about the situation. We know Timothy’s father was a Greek but his mother was Jewish. We are also pretty sure that when he submitted to circumcision it was not for the purpose of conforming to God’s law. That is what makes Timothy’s act so impressive.
The text tells us why he did it: Acts 16:3 says Paul “took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in that region, for they all knew that his father was Greek”. They were going to be working among unsaved Jews who would have a big “hang up” with the fact that he was uncircumcised and even though it was not required by God he was willing to go through with it in order more effective in reaching the Jews. It is the same principle that Paul later wrote about when he said “to the Jews I became a Jew that I might win Jews” (1 Corinthians 9:19).
How many of us would voluntarily inconvenience ourselves greatly concerning a matter, if it was not required by God, but simply because of what some people might think? Pride and selfishness within us says no I would never do that, there is nothing in God’s law that says I have to! But Timothy had a better attitude.
Jesus had a similar attitude when He was inconvenienced greatly (an understatement) about a situation for which He was not personally responsible in that He was willing to die on the cross.
If we have the same attitude as Timothy and Jesus we will be better Christians and better Churches!