“Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. 2 He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium.” (Acts 16:1–2)
Paul returned, along with his companion Silas, to the towns of Derbe and Lystra. He did so in order to encourage the new believers he and Barnabas ministered to during their First Missionary Journey. Living in Lystra was a young man named Timothy.
Timothy was already a disciple of Jesus Christ when Paul met him. Luke records that Timothy’s Jewish mother was also a believer. However, Timothy’s Greek father was not a Christian. Timothy was a third-generation Christian after his mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois (2 Timothy 1:5). The apostle Paul, undoubtedly Timothy’s spiritual father, refers to him as “my true child in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2).
Timothy possessed a good reputation. Luke records that the Christians in Lystra and Iconium continually spoke well of him. Timothy lived a good testimony of faith.
One commentator writes, “Probably Timothy was about eighteen years of age, a convert of Paul’s former visit a few years before (1 Tim. 1:2) and still young twelve years later (1 Tim. 4:12). Paul loved him devotedly (1 Tim. 1:3; 5:23; 2 Tim. 3:15; Phil. 2:19f.). It is a glorious discovery to find a real young preacher for Christ’s work.
Dr. R .C. Sproul writes, “All believers grow in Christ at varying rates, and those who are young may be quite mature spiritually. We must not discount the usefulness to Christ of anyone young or old. Neither should we discount our own abilities because of youth or age. Seek to grow in Christ to the full extent and to serve Him faithfully no matter what your age.”
Soli deo Gloria!