Timothy was quite young when he first met Paul. He subsequently accompanied the Apostle on many of his journeys, was a faithful courier on his behalf and may even have shared time in prison with him.
The Bible contains many examples of God working through families and this was the case with the Apostle Paul’s companion, Timothy, whose father was a Greek and his mother a Jewess. Timothy was very influenced by the faithful example of his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois, as Paul infers in 2 Timothy 1:3-5: “I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience... as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also” (2 Timothy 1:3-5).
Paul chose young Timothy to serve with him based on the recommendations of members of several congregations. When he decided Timothy should accompany him on his missionary journeys he circumcised him so he would be more readily accepted by the Jews (Acts 16:1-5) and help him function, as Paul did, within the multicultural world of the day.
Paul began to train and use Timothy to strengthen the churches in the faith, not only as his companion in his travels, but also as a pastor, especially at Ephesus in Asia Minor. “As I urged you when I went into Macedonia remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith” (1 Timothy 1:3-4).
Paul’s letters to Timothy show that he instructed his protégé on how to care for the congregation and proper worship (1 Timothy 1:1-20 and 1 Timothy 2:1-15), the qualifications of elders and deacons (1 Timothy 3:1-16), teaching sound doctrine (1 Timothy 4:1-16) and dealing with people (1 Timothy 5:1-25 and 1 Timothy 6:1-21).
Timothy apparently visited Paul in Rome when Paul was in prison and in Paul’s epistles to the Philippians and Colossians from prison, he sent greetings from himself and Timothy (Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:1). It also appears that Timothy was also imprisoned at one point, since Hebrews 13:23 refers to his being released.
Legend has it that Timothy continued to minister to the congregation in Ephesus and was martyred under the Roman emperor Domitian (81-96) or Nerva (96-98) ( Unger’s Bible Dictionary , 1964, p. 1100).
The young evangelist Timothy will always be remembered for his genuine and enduring faith in spite of persecution.
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