Around 51 AD, after the conflict with Barnabas over John Mark, Paul, accompanied by Silas set out to Syria and Cilicia to continue advancing the gospel and strengthen the church.
“1 Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek.” (Acts 16:1)
Derbe and Lystra were cities in the Roman province of Galatia, located south of Iconium, where Paul had been persecuted on his first missionary journey when he refused to be hailed as a god.
As he and Barnabas fled from Iconium a few years earlier, they sought refuge in Derbe and Lystra, where on this mission they would find Timothy, a young believer of great reputation in the region.
“2 He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium.” (Acts 16:2)
Timothy, named after the delight of God was considered a Gentile even though his mother was herself Jewish. Though he had a Greek father, and was uncircumcised, he had been taught the Scriptures by his devoutly religious mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois who were both believers.
Because he had toiled in the name of Jesus from Lystra to Iconium, his reputation as a devoted servant of the Lord was well established in both cities.
“3 Paul wanted to have him go on with him. And he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in that region, for they all knew that his father was Greek.” (Acts 16:3)
Because he discerned Timothy’s faith and desire to serve was very strong, Paul was led to take the young disciple with him on this journey. To further extend Timothy’s reach as a Jewish believer, Paul circumcised Timothy, not as a requirement for salvation but instead as a sacrifice to avoid prejudice among Jews.
“4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered to them the decrees to keep, which were determined by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.” (Acts 16:4-5)
Paul, Silas and Timothy continued their missionary journey throughout the region, preaching the good news and delivering the decree written by the apostles and church elders, that circumcision was not required of Gentile believers, but that each Christian should glorify the Lord sacrificially by abiding to God’s commandments and obeying His commands. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Luke,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre