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A Young Man's Growth In Faith: Timothy
The Theatre At Ephesus Photo: © Irene Paget
Timothy (from the Greek Timotheos = God-fearer) was a spiritual son of Paul (1 CORINTHIANS 4:17;
1 TIMOTHY 1:2; 2 TIMOTHY 1:2), but he already had a godly heritage long before Paul met him and led him to Christ.
His father was an unnamed Greek, who seems to have played little part in Timothy's life, judging from the lack of any mention of him. We know much more about his mother's side of the family.
His mother Eunice and grandmother Lois were both Jewesses who had become Christians. But because his father was a Greek, he had not been initiated into Judaism at birth through the rite of circumcision or barmitzvahed at the age of twelve or thirteen like all Jewish males. Because this might have caused a problem in his ministry later, Paul circumcised him before taking him on his missionary journeys to prevent any Jewish fundamentalists' objections (ACTS 16:1-3)
Paul probably led Timothy to Christ during his missionary visits to Iconium and Lystra and discipled him before appointing him pastor of the flourishing church in Ephesus.
Statue of Goddess Diana of Ephesus
Photo: © R A Taylor
The Temple Of Diana In Ephesus
Ephesus was the centre of the worship of the Roman goddess Diana (Greek Artemis), whose temple and shrine were among the largest in the Roman empire and did a roaring trade in silver idols of the goddess.
Paul's early evangelistic activities provoked a riot because the silversmiths were losing some of their lucrative trade. The result was that Paul's friends Gaius and Aristarchus were dragged into the theatre (above) and threatened with death at the hands of wild animals (ACTS 19:23-41).
Timothy also had to deal with persecution and the pressures to conform to the demands of the Imperial Cult (1 THESSALONIANS 3:2-5).
The Martyrdom Of Timothy
Church tradition says Timothy died a martyr's death during the reign of the Emperor Domitian or the Emperor Nerva as he attempted to stop a pagan procession bound for the Temple of Diana.
Q1 What kind of godly heritage do you have?
Was there ever a time when you did not know about God and Jesus?
Q2 Have you benefitted from having a godly heritage?
Q3 How can we encourage our children and grandchildren as Christian parents and grandparents?