Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 4

About Timothy

1 Corinthians 4:17

People usually describe Timothy as one of Paulís companions - a young man who worked with Paul.

Actually, however, Paul and Timothy did not often work together in the same town. We often read that Paul sent Timothy to help or to teach a group of Christians elsewhere. Paul could not go, but he sent Timothy on his behalf. And Timothy loyally followed Paulís instructions.

Even when both men were working in the same town, they worked separately. It was Timothyís arrival in Corinth that gave Paul the opportunity to concentrate on the message of Christís death (Acts 18:5; 1 Corinthians 2:2). Perhaps it was Timothy who then carried out the ceremony called baptism (see 1 Corinthians 1:14-17 and Acts 18:8).

Two people can work together in such a manner if they trust each other. Clearly, Paul had discovered that he could trust Timothy (Philippians 2:19-22). And Timothy always respected Paul. Paul was constantly praying for Timothy (2 Timothy 1:3). 2 Timothy 1:4 shows us that they were true friends; they very much desired to be together.

1 Corinthians 16:8-9 explains why Paul could not go to Corinth immediately. God had given Paul a wonderful opportunity to declare his (Godís) good news at Ephesus. You can read what happened in Acts 19:8-19.

Paul could not leave Ephesus yet, but he was able to send Timothy back to Corinth. However, Timothy would not remain in Corinth for a long time. Soon, Paul would need his help again (16:10-11).

Next part: How Paul dealt with proud people (1 Corinthians 4:18-21)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.