Summary: Philippians 2:22 (NLT) 22 But you know how Timothy has proved himself. Like a son with his father, he has served with me in preaching the Good News.
Grant van Boeschoten
November 25, 2007
Philippians 2:22 (NLT)
22 But you know how Timothy has proved himself. Like a son with his father, he has served with me in preaching the Good News.
That is quite the statement to have made about you. The great apostle Paul, the man who planted churches all over the Middle East, the man who wrote a huge portion of the New Testament. PAUL, had these wonderful things to say about Timothy.
But how could Paul say that? What kind of a relationship was this built on? What does he mean when Paul said that Timothy had “proved himself”?
I guess you have to go back to the beginning.
Timothy came from a mixed cultural background, his mom was a Jew and his father a Greek, but we never get to meet his dad in the Bible. Timothy’s name means “honoring Godd”. He lived with his mother Eunice and his Grandmother Lois in Lystra.
Lystra is known for 2 different things in the Bible, and they both have to do with the Apostle Paul.
• Lystra is the place where Paul healed the cripple man in the temple, and all of the people tried to worship him as a god. But then, the mob changed it’s mind and stoned Paul. They drug him outside of town and left him to die, in fact, scholars think that he did infact die, but Paul’s friends had a prayer meeting for him and he was revived.
• Lystra is also the place where we meet the great man of God Timothy, but we meet him first as a boy.
The Bible records Paul as going through Lystra on 2 different occasions. The first time that he went through, Timothy was just a young boy who was growing up in the Jewish faith of his mother.
Paul’s message of faith in Jesus challenged the citizens of Lystra to change their lives. These people had grown up waiting for a messiah to save them. And when Paul explained how Jesus fulfilled all of the prophecies and how he even rose from the dead these people had a choice to make.
Would they accept Jesus as the Messiah, and ask him for the forgiveness of their sins? Or would they reject the message and go on living in the way that they were accustomed to?
If I read the New Testament as a whole, not isolating one chapter at a time but looking at it as a big picture, I can see that Paul must have met Timothy on his first missionary journey through Lystra.
The first reason why I believe this to be true is that Paul addresses Timothy as his son in the faith.
1 Timothy 1:2 (NLT)
2 I am writing to Timothy, my true son in the faith. May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace.
If you are calling someone your son or daughter in the faith, that usually means that you played a huge role in their conversion. My guess is that on Paul’s first missionary Journey he and Timothy were somehow introduced, and Paul helped Timothy to find salvation through Jesus Christ.
Do you have any sons or daughters in the faith? Are there people whom you have helped to find salvation in Jesus? Treat this people with love, and never forget the special connection that you have with them. God used you in a special way so that he could save another.