As you know the New Testament was written mostly in Greek. Paul’s letters were all in Greek. The verbs in Greek carry much of the weight in communicating the intent of the author. In our study of the text then, it is most helpful, and important, that we pay attention to the verbs, particularly those directed to Timothy. Those are:
- Let (no one) look down on
- Show yourself
- Give attention
- Do not neglect
- Take pains
- Be absorbed
- Pay close attention
So what? We could say that Timothy has a lot of responsibility as a leader of the church in Ephesus, and as far as that goes we would be correct.
However, based on the object of the second verb, show yourself, Timothy is to be an example. Paul tells us in multiple places that we are to follow his example:
- 1 Corinthians 10:11
- Philippians 3:17
- 1 Thessalonians 1:7
- 2 Thessalonians 3:7, 9
This is Paul following Christ’s command in Matthew 28:18 – 20, is it not? Christ expects His disciples, which based on John 17:20, includes us, to teach all that He commanded as part of the process of making disciples.
That would seem to suggest that those imperatives Paul addressed to Timothy, are addressed to each of us as well.
Think about that. Is that the focus of all of the believers in your community? Or has that focus been delegated to those who are paid staff or have taken on the mantle of teacher? It would seem that if Paul’s exhortation does apply to all of us, and I would strongly suggest that it does, that it becomes a practical corollary to Matthew 6:33 for all of us.