I want to continue our summer study with the story of Lois, Eunice and Timothy.
There isn't much in reference with Timothy's upbringing; however what is mentioned speaks volumes of these two women.
I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. - 2 Timothy 1:5
But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. - 2 Timothy 3:14-15
To better relate to the characters in this story, we have to first dig a little bit into the context in which it is written. We find a bit about Timothy's heritage in Acts 16:1. Here it is discovered that his mother was Jewish and his father was Greek. During this time period there was a lot of division between the Jews and Greeks. These two people groups had different religious beliefs, cultural upbringings, and value systems. Two worlds collided; sometimes erupting in violence. This brings deeper meaning to Galatians 3:28, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
Eunice was a Jewish woman. I wonder the stigma that would have come upon her as she chose to marry this Greek man. Did it make it hard to go to the marketplace? What about the synagogue? Did she fear being disowned by Lois for an "unclean" marriage? I wonder what went through her mind as she found out she was pregnant with her son, Timothy. Did she hear that familiar lying voice, "You really screwed this up. This is not what God wanted for you. You failed. Game over."
Nothing is really mentioned about Timothy's father which would suggest that he had passed away before Paul had come into Timothy's life. According to our scriptures above, we know that Timothy was taught the Scriptures from childhood. He was a part of a family who knew God's word. Without knowing when his father passed away, it is hard to say how much upbringing he had from his Greek side. His father must have had some say because Timothy was uncircumcised upon meeting Paul.
I love to wonder and imagine things from the Bible and this story is one of them. I can't say for sure but I like to imagine the first encounter that these two woman and a "baby" had with Paul and Barnabas. Acts 14, two men come into town. They have the ability to heal the sick and lame. Lystra, steeped in Greek culture, the residents believe that they are gods and proceed to try and offer sacrifices to them. In dismay Paul and Barnabas plead with the people - we are mere men! We come with good news about Jesus Christ! The crowd becomes angry and stones Paul; leaving him for dead. Wouldn't you know that after some prayer and intercession, Paul gets up and walks back into town.
What a movie scene that would be. This young man, Timothy, witnessing this freshly beaten man - strolling back into his hometown after a brutal beating. I can picture the awe and wonder in Timothy's mind. Can you see the powerful testimony of the good news preached some time before. Who is this Jesus? Could He be the messiah we had been waiting for?
Thankfully this story of two women and a "baby" ends in triumph. In fact, did you know that the name Eunice means "conquering well" and "good and joyous victory?" The fact that Timothy become so well respected in town shows the diligence to raise a man of character. Paul was so impressed that he asked Timothy to join him in ministry.
This is a great story of hope for you and me!
I've gone a little long so we will pause for today. On Thursday we will talk about some practical steps we can glean from these two woman and a "baby."
Let's talk in the comments. What has God been revealing to you in our summer study? What newfound hope have you found for your marriage and parenting through these stories?