July 5, 2015
Today I want to focus in on the cross-reference found in 1 Corinthians 4:17 which says “For this reason I have sent you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church.”
This is a very cool action that is happening in Corinth, but how does this further enhance our study of 2 Timothy? Let’s look a little closer at this with an analogy.
I have a 10 year old daughter and her name is Logan; she carries a lot of the same character traits that I do. My wife Jessica is constantly saying to me, after a particular comment or an action, “She is totally you.” It is really scary sometimes when just the two of us are together. It really can feel like I am having a conversation with myself, I don’t know about you but I’m not really keen on talking to myself…especially in public. Over my daughter’s 10 years of life, it is very clear that she has watched me, learned from me and now imitates me, especially when it comes to humour.
In his commentary, John MacArthur writes regarding this passage in 1 Corinthians: Timothy has been so faithfully discipled by Paul that he could be sent in the great apostle’s place with confidence that he would perfectly represent him.
Can you imagine the confidence Paul now has writing from prison? Here again we are reminded that because of Paul’s diligent teaching and mentoring he has raised up his replacement who will now carry the baton after Paul is gone.
The Bible is clear that we as believers are to be imitators of God (Eph. 5:1) and to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1). We are literally to be the exact representation of Jesus Christ while we are here on earth. What makes this really cool is that as Paul had the confidence to send Timothy to Corinth, so Jesus has the confidence to send us out in to the world not only to be His representative, but to also pass the baton on to others.
So often we recite the Great Commission and proclaim this as our mission, yet many would prefer to proclaim life through the gospel, while really representing the world.
What about you? Have you grasped the significance here? Paul’s confidence in Timothy, Jesus confidence in us… How are you doing as His representative? If today were your last day on this earth would you have someone to carry the baton in your place? Do you have a Timothy in your life?
What do you think? Does the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 have an opt-out clause?