I Timothy

I Timothy 5:1-2 Like Family.

Paul gave Timothy a paradigm that should be the standard for all of us in the church-treat each other like family. What follows is a warning to Timothy not to abuse his authority. Exhorting an older man as a father instead of rebuking him appeals to what he ought to know. In so doing we show him the respect one ought to have for one who is more advanced in years. The point is no one is exempt from the need for continual progress in the faith, but each is shown respect in a way that is unique to their station in life. A younger man should be approached as a brother, neither as a child nor as one old enough to be one’s father. Likewise with women of the church, we must treat older women as mothers and “younger women as sisters, with all purity” (v. 2). With this last group he emphasizes purity, because I think Paul understands that for a young man it is important that his relationship with younger women be marked by purity, in so doing he also shows them their due respect. All this echoes what Paul said to Timothy earlier about not letting anyone disrespect him or “despise” his youth (4:12). So we should do unto others as we would have done unto us (Cf. Mt. 7:12; Lk. 6:31).

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