Paul returned to Lystra in Acts 16:1–2 to strengthen the church that he had planted (cf. Acts 15:41). His faithfulness over time yielded an opportunity to see that some of the disciples had matured, and for Timothy in particular, to the point of being responsible enough to join his missionary endeavors.
Note: This is part 2 of 3 of a series, “Discipling Younger Men.”
Last week, we explored the ages of Timothy and Paul. They were about 30 years apart, being 50 and 20 when they came together for ministry.
With the relationship of Paul and Timothy in mind, let’s walk through their lives as Scripture records them and see the first five of ten principles for discipling younger men.
Be the kind of man that younger men would want to follow.
As mentioned above, Acts 14:7–23 is part of Paul’s first missionary trip (Acts 13:1–14:28), which took place approximately AD 47–49. Timothy was in his mid to late teens when Paul first came to Lystra, and even before that, Timothy had been raised on the Scriptures.
When Paul came to Lystra the first time, he was stoned and left for dead. He got up and returned to the city and kept on preaching to a handful of cities until he returned to Antioch to report on his ministry (Acts 14:7–28; cf. 13:1–3).
Timothy likely knew who Paul was from Paul’s first time to Lystra. Whether directly or indirectly, he gave him and his family the gospel and almost died for doing so. Imagine the impact that Paul’s testimony would have had upon Timothy.