Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman…
I. ENLARGED WORK THE FRUIT OF ENLARGED CAPACITY AND EXPERIENCE.
1. In his own spirit - by faithful service and abundant grace received.
2. In his higher standing among his brethren. The sympathy and confidence expressed by the Churches of Antioch and Jerusalem lifted up Paul's spirit to a higher level.
3. In the clearer course opened by the settlement of the controversy as to the position of the Gentile converts.
II. INSTRUMENTS PREPARED TO MEET GREATER DEMANDS. Timothy specially gifted to be Paul's companion. His Greek education. His mother's and grandmother's piety. His father possibly a proselyte. He himself Paul's son in the faith. Silas more Jewish. The Holy Spirit guides us when we seek out helpers in dependence on higher wisdom. The young minister had the confidence of the Churches, where probably he had exercised his gifts. Those who are selected as candidates for the ministry should be approved and well reported of, and in some degree tried. Paul's own judgment was sustained by that of others.
III. IN ALL WORK DIFFICULTIES AND SCANDALS SHOULD BE SHUNNED, even at the cost of suppressing personal feeling. When it was a question of maintaining principle, Paul would not consider Jewish prejudice; when it was a question of conciliating and preparing the way for the gospel, he would put his own broader views in the background. An example showing that promises and conciliation can be mingled in the same character; a warning against self-assertion.
IV. THE INFLUENCE OF A WELL-MAINTAINED CHURCH ORDER ON THE STABILITY AND PROSPERITY OF SPIRITUAL WORK. There was no despotism of Jerusalem over the Gentile Churches, but these were decrees ordained; not the decrees of those who sought dominion over the faith of others, but the decisions of wise, good, inspired men, who spoke under the influence of the Spirit. We should obey the will of the Spirit, whether we hear it from Jerusalem or from any other quarter. A true, humble, and zealous desire to be strengthened and to increase will be the best preservative against schism. There is no inconsistency between liberty and reverence. They support one another. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: