This chapter reminds me very much of The Sermon on the Mount. Dealt to us from an aging Apostle Paul to Timothy who was to carry on the work Paul began. What a friend he must have been, what a mentor, what a wealth of information mixed with experience. In this chapter, he leaves some very detailed scripture guiding the path of the first century church. In this blog, I will discuss the things that stand out to me; here we go.
In verses 1 and 2, he tells us how to treat each other; this is a vital lesson for today. Paul says, “Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men like brothers, older women as mothers and younger women as sisters. Just think, if the only thing we did this entire next year was obey this advice, what difference would that make? My guess, an astonishing one. We are so quick to say the first thing that comes into our heads when we are angry, tired, or discouraged. We say things that wound and maim carelessly and impulsively and can cause fissures that last many years. Paul is not just giving good advice here but the voice of God, telling us of his will, I can do better, we can do better! In vs. 17 the author says, “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching,” I always knew God was a numbers guy, despite my thoughts during my freshman Algebra class when I considered it a waste of time.
He mentions first that they “rule well”. Wow, talk about a loaded phrase. I cannot dare to think of all that encompasses, but I am sure it contains that we steward the Gospel with love and grace. For the double honor part so far my experience tells me this means more work, a lot more work. I have the good fortune of being around great teaching regularly here at Trinity so I am spoiled to the point of taking it for granted. That would be a mistake, our teaching elders invest more time and prayer in each sermon than you could imagine. I for one am glad and grateful they do. Spend some time in this chapter when you get a chance. I think it some of Paul’s finest work. It covers a lot of ground very quickly but well worth the read.