Timothy: "Send Me!"

I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. Phil 2:20

We meet two friends of the Apostle Paul in this last half of chapter two. These were men who quite unconsciously displayed the character of Jesus Christ — excellent examples of all Paul has been writing about.

First we meet Timothy. As Paul writes about him, we see that the underlying quality that marks this man is Jesus Christ. We see that Timothy is an exceptional man. Paul says, “I have no one like him.” Wouldn't you like to have that written about you? There were many things at which Timothy did not excel. With his frail body, he wasn’t much of an athlete. He could very easily have been beaten at sports, or possibly surpassed in learning. But there was one area where no one even comes close to this man, and that’s in his selfless care — his demonstration of genuine concern for the welfare of others. Here he’s demonstrating that peculiarly Christian virtue, that distinctive mark of the presence of Christ within: selflessness! That’s what the Lord Jesus said of himself, “Learn from me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.” (Matt 11:29)

Most of us think of meekness in terms of weakness. We picture some spineless, Casper Milquetoast who lets people walk all over him. But of course that description would never apply to Jesus. What did he mean when he said, “I am meek”? It means he was willing to receive injury without resentment and praise without pride. That’s what set Timothy apart — his deep and genuine concern for the needs of others, no matter the cost to him.

The only one to whom Christ's business was his business was Timothy. You can imagine what an encouragement he must have been to the apostle's heart as he is longing to send someone to the Philippians to help them with their problems, and everyone turns him down simply because of their own selfish concerns. But Timothy says, “All right, Paul, I'm ready to go — any time, any place, anywhere!” No wonder he was always a channel of God’s power wherever he went — he saw himself as an instrument of God's grace. As such, Timothy was an excellent example of the attitude Paul has been urging the Philippians themselves to adopt.

Prayer: Father, teach me to me a person who genuinely cares for the welfare of others, and is willing to demonstrate that care in selfless acts of service. Amen.

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