Paul and Timothy: A Prime Instance for Discipleship 

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Note: This is aspect 1 of three of a series, “Discipling Younger Males.”

This goal of this post and the text two and is to encourage Christian males to attain out and disciple younger males. As to what we imply by “discipling younger males,” I hope to encourage us in ministering to young males in the church who are noticeably younger in age (i.e., possibly younger than 18 years old) and have not however reached the point exactly where they can confidently make disciples on their personal. But we will not cease there—I hope to encourage us to disciple these young males additional as they develop into becoming Christian males who in turn disciple other individuals just the very same.

Even though numerous are familiar with the Pastoral Epistles and have some notion of the partnership in between Timothy and Paul, I by no means tire of searching at how the older Paul discipled the younger Timothy. Their discipleship partnership tends to make for a prime instance for our study.

Just after receiving a rough notion of the ages of Paul and Timothy, we will try to do a chronological stroll via their partnership, searching a lot more via the eyes of Timothy than Paul, and collect principles for discipling younger males along the way. 

Paul referred to as himself “an old man” (presbytēs) in the sixth verse of Philemon, a letter written in AD 60, indicating that he was 60 years old or older at the time. About 30 years earlier, he was possibly 30 years old when Luke described him as “a young man” (neanias), a term that could variety from 20 to 40 years old. He was converted at this time (Acts 9:1–19a) and then spent roughly two decades in missionary ministry prior to Timothy joined him in Acts 16:1–5.

When we initial see Timothy in Acts 16:1–5, Paul is traveling via Lystra for the duration of his second missionary journey in AD 50–52 (Acts 15:40–18:22). Paul is about 50 years old, and Timothy’s age is not described. We do uncover, nonetheless, in 1 Timothy, written about AD 65, that Paul told Timothy to let no man despise his “youth” (1 Tim four:12 neotēs), a word indicating Timothy was possibly perhaps 30 to 35 years old. Timothy would consequently have been about 20 years old when he joined Paul in Acts 16 and was born about AD 30.

Digging additional, there appears to be sufficient from Scripture to say that Timothy at least knew who Paul was by the time they met in Acts 16. Paul had previously created disciples in Lystra towards the finish of his initial missionary journey in AD 47–49 (Acts 14:7–23 cf. 13:1–14:28), which possibly integrated Timothy’s grandmother Lois and mother Eunice —they had been teaching Timothy the Scriptures given that childhood and most most likely believed the gospel when the apostle Paul came via their city, preaching that Jesus was the Son of God (cf. two Tim 1:five three:15). Even though there could not have been a lot of a private partnership in between the two (if any at all), it is pretty attainable that Timothy was in his mid to late teens when he initial heard about Paul. Just after all, the apostle’s reputation would have integrated becoming stoned and left for dead soon after preaching in Timothy’s city (Acts 14:19–20).

Obtaining explored the ages of Paul and Timothy, as most effective we can inform, Paul was about 30 years older than Timothy. Paul was someplace in his late 40s when he initial came to Lystra, and Timothy was in his mid to late teens. When Paul recruited Timothy in Acts 16, Paul was about 50, and Timothy was about 20. As we will see, this age distinction created for a organic father/son discipleship partnership that would final till Paul went to glory. Maybe this partnership meant all the a lot more to Timothy given that his personal father was not a believer (cf. Acts 16:1).

Come back subsequent week, and we’ll see the initial of ten principles for discipleship in observing the partnership in between Paul and Timothy in Scripture.

David Huffstutler

About David Huffstutler

David pastors Very first Baptist Church in Rockford, IL, serves as a chaplain for his nearby police division, and teaches as adjunct faculty at Bob Jones University. David holds a Ph. D. in Applied Theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. His concentration in Christian Leadership focuses his contributions to pastoral and sensible theology.

Endnotes:

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