But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. (Philippians 2:22 NIV)
Actually, we read in Acts 16:1-3 that Timothy is not the real son of the Apostle Paul. We read in Acts 16 that Timothy’s mother, Eunice (2 Timothy 1:5) is Jewish and his father is a Greek-speaking non-Jew. If Timothy is not the real son of the Apostle Paul, why does Paul refer to Timothy as “a son with his father” who has proved himself in the work of the gospel? Timothy is the assistant of the Apostle Paul in his work of the gospel. He has been through thick and thin with Paul and has experienced many of the heartaches of Paul as they travelled through the Mediterranean starting churches and encouraging them. It is obvious from 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy that Timothy is much younger than Paul. Paul has been an older mentor to Timothy. He is with Paul at the moment in that prison in Rome. I do not believe Timothy is a fellow prisoner with Paul. Here in Philippians 2, Paul sends him to Philippi to encourage the Philippian believers there.
Therefore, it is obvious that although Timothy is not the real son of the Apostle Paul, nevertheless because of what they have been through together in serving Jesus Christ, Timothy is like a son to Paul. I also have no doubt that Paul has been like a father to Timothy. The New Testament presents the Apostle Paul as a single person and not married. Yet as Paul develops relationships with people and churches, the church world makes up for the lack of a blood family in Paul’s life. Here we read that Timothy is like a son to Paul. In Romans 16:13 we read that the mother of Rufus has been a mother to Paul too. Although Paul might not have the privilege of having a spouse and children, the communities of the churches he helped established are so close to him that they function like family to him.
There are many of us who have shared with me that our church family of St. Andrew’s Streetsville is like another family to us. There were some from the church who prayed with us and for us as we lost a loved one in your family, as we looked for a new job or as we had some health problems. This is similar to the church life the Apostle Paul experienced in his life. The church family is like family to Paul.
Luke, my son, who is in Grade 11, volunteers to do Powerpoint (PPT) on Sunday mornings. He has been doing this since May 2018. This means that at least one Sunday a month, Luke travels with me in the early morning to get to St. Andrew’s Streetsville. When we reach the church building, Luke helps me unlock the 2 lower doors. Then he picks up the computer laptop and brings it to audio-visual booth. There he brings down the screen and starts going through the slides as the praise team practises. Luke is the volunteer who makes sure that my PPT slides are on the screen when I share the message on those Sunday mornings. As we travel to St. Andrew’s Streetsville on the Sundays he serves for the PPT ministry, we are on a journey together in the work of the gospel. On those Sundays, Luke is like a Timothy to me.