Biography of a Young Preacher (Part 4)

Journey to Jerusalem

Sometime thereafter, Paul joined them in Macedonia, and Timothy is listed as a co-author of the second letter to the church in Corinth.*[1]  After traveling with Paul throughout Macedonia, Timothy finally made it back to Corinth, where they stayed about three months,*[2] and during which time, he was mentioned to the church in Rome by Paul.*[3]  Timothy had planned to accompany Paul on a sea journey to Syria (probably returning to Antioch).*[4]  However, since there were Jews waiting to kill Paul, the apostle decided to travel by way of Macedonia instead, apparently sending Timothy and several others ahead to wait for him at Troas.*[5]

Timothy was present in Troas on the Lord’s Day when Eutychus fell asleep in an open window on the third story of the building where the church was meeting.  This young man slid down and fell out the window to his death, but Paul healed him.*[6]  Timothy then rode with Luke and some others in a boat to Assos, meeting up with Paul who had decided to go there on foot,*[7] and they continued their journey to Miletus.  It was in Miletus that Paul waited, calling the elders of Ephesus to come meet him there.*[8]  These are some of the same men that Timothy would have interacted with during his initial time in that city with Paul, as well as during his time preaching there full-time some years later.*[9]

The young preacher accompanied Paul and the others as they made his way back east, sailing past Cyprus (where Barnabas and John Mark had last been seen), and finally arriving in Syria at Tyre.  In this city, they stayed for a week, meeting with the disciples who lived there.  Timothy must have been impressed by the love and care of the Christians in Tyre.  The entire congregation—men, women, and children—walked Paul, Timothy, Luke, Sopater, Aristarchus, Secundus, Gaius, Tychicus, and Trophimus out of the city and to their boat.  Then they all knelt together on the shore and prayed to God.  These Christians did not head back home until Paul and his company had all boarded the ship.*[10]

Timothy’s next stop was in Caesarea, where he got to meet Philip, the man who taught the gospel to the eunuch of Ethiopia.*[11]  Philip welcomed the traveling missionaries into his house for “many days,” being overjoyed no doubt at the aid which the churches of Macedonia and Achaia had sent for the poor saints in Jerusalem.  It was while staying in Caesarea that Timothy saw a prophet named Agabus grab Paul’s belt and tie himself up with it, prophesying that Paul would be arrested in Jerusalem and turned over to the Romans as a prisoner.*[12]  Timothy began to beg and plead with Paul not to go,*[13] but the apostle stood firm, telling him and the others who also pleaded, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart?  For I am ready, not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”*[14]  Finally, Timothy and the rest of Paul’s company ceased their pleading, instead saying “The will of the Lord be done,” and they traveled to Jerusalem in the company of one of the early disciples, Mnason,*[15] with whom they would stay in Jerusalem.*[16]

-Bradley Cobb

[1] *2 Corinthians 1:1

[2] *Acts 20:2-3.  Corinth is the primary city of Greece, and Paul had promised the Corinthians that he would come to see them in person after traveling through Macedonia (1 Corinthians 16:5, 2 Corinthians 9:4).

[3] *Romans 16:21.  Paul wrote that he was staying at the house of Gaius (Romans 16:23), who was one of the few people in Corinth that Paul himself baptized (1 Corinthians 1:14).  Paul also mentions “Erastus, the chamberlain of the city” (Romans 16:23), and a first-century inscription in Corinth exists which says “Erastus, the commissioner of public works, laid this pavement at his own expense.” (see introduction to Romans in “The Open Bible: Expanded Edition,” 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers).

[4] *Acts 20:3.

[5] *Acts 20:4-5.

[6] *Acts 20:6-12.

[7] *Acts 20:13-14.

[8] *Acts 20:17.

[9] *See 1 Timothy 1:3.

[10] *Acts 21:3-6.

[11] *Acts 21:8.  As a side note, it is quite possible that Luke was able to talk to Philip at this time, gathering the information that he would later include when writing the book of Acts.

[12] *Acts 21:10-11.

[13] *Acts 21:12.

[14] *Acts 21:13.

[15] *Mnason may well have been one of the converts on the day of Pentecost.

[16] *Acts 21:14-16

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