I don’t want to ever forget they were real people. They felt emotion, they worried, they hurt, they rejoiced, they fell in love.
Timothy’s parents were real people. I wonder was it a forbidden love? Or was she forced to marry him?
Just how did Eunice, a devout Jew, find herself married to a Greek? And what about her mom, Lois? How was she so involved in their lives that young Timothy had been taught the scriptures so well by these two women who are forever commemorated in the Bible?
Paul recognized the great impact Timothy’s mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois, had on Timothy as he calls them out in this famous, holy letter. (2Tim 1:5)
But, Timothy’s father was Greek (Acts 16:1). Greeks were known for their polytheistic beliefs- they worshipped multiple gods. They even called one the “unknown god” to cover their bases!
I wonder did Timothy’s (unnamed father) know of the lessons his wife and mother-in-law taught Timothy about the One True God? Did he scoff at the scriptures? Did he occasionally listen and wonder about this God he didn’t know?
And was Timothy’s father there in Athens, when Paul caused quite the stir as he “stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.”
(Can you imagine hearing Paul proclaim these words in person? )
“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being.’As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
“Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:22-31)
And here’s the unpopular truth that every lost heart who is chasing all kinds of gods but the One true God hates to hear—God will JUDGE the world with justice by the man he has appointed—Jesus! (read what Paul said in Athens above again, if you didn’t see it)
There is only one God and He will judge all mankind.
This was offensive to a lost world then (remember as we read this letter Paul is waiting to be put to death for his preaching). It’s STILL offensive today, and it always will be!
And as it was then, it is today—there are really only two types of people in this world — and it’s not Jew or Greek, or Republican or Democrat, or Black or White, or any other way we like to divide ourselves…. there are only two —those ALIVE in Christ and those DEAD in their sins.
Until we see ourselves and others as God sees us, we are missing the mark.
What’s more, we can preach social justice all day long, but without Christ, hearts don’t truly change.
Without Christ, there is no lasting hope, peace is only ever temporary, and real joy remains illusion.
Oh friend, what hope we have because of Christ! May the REDEEMED of the Lord say so! May we live with this in mind!