2 Timothy 4:1,2 sums-up Timothy's predicament. His gift was to teach and preach and once ordained, he was able to do this. As a high-ranking bishop, he had the responsibility to reprove, rebuke, and exhort all Christians, and even bishops. He was to have patience in doing these things because he had a low tolerance for stress and let out his frustrations on others.
(1 Timothy 1:2) Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith.
Paul considers Timothy to be a son (and himself to be a spiritual father).
(1 Timothy 1:3) As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine.
Timothy is a high-ranking bishop. He is concerned with teaching, doctrine, and fighting heresy, even commanding other church leaders and excommunicating some.
(1 Timothy 1:8) But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully.
Paul spends quite a few verses explaining true doctrine. Presumably, Timothy already knows all this. I wonder if Paul is writing it for Christians at large (even though the letter is specifically addressed to Timothy)?
Paul also writes a lot about his trials and calling, perhaps to encourage and remind Timothy that he has the same role and calling. There is no evidence that Timothy became a Paul replacement in the church. Perhaps Paul was hoping Timothy would but he didn't have the aptitude or calling to do so. Not everyone can be a Paul or Augustine.
(1 Timothy 1:18,19) This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare. Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.
Just as Paul sometimes writes about his own hope that he remains true to the faith, he writes this also to Timothy. Perhaps this is not because of any weakness on Timothy's part but Paul's concern in general for everyone.
(1 Timothy 2:1,2) I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
It appears that Timothy leads public services and trains others how to do so.
(1 Timothy 3:1) This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
Timothy chooses and ordains bishops. He is a very high-ranking bishop travelling to various cities and choosing and ordaining bishops.
(1 Timothy 3:15) But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
It seems condescending to me that Paul spends so many words telling Timothy how to behave. Perhaps he is instructing Christians at large.
(1 Timothy 4:6,7) If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
The role of a bishop is to instruct and rule.
(1 Timothy 4:11) These things command and teach.
The role of a bishop is to instruct and rule. He must be commanding priests, deacons, and lay people as well as other bishops. Timothy is a high-ranking bishop. I wonder if his stature decreased significantly after Paul died; whether it was Paul's influence behind Timothy that made him able to function in his role. Perhaps that's why Paul writes letters to Timothy intending that they be read in public, to increase Timothy's effectiveness. Timothy's power derived from Paul propping him up.
(1 Timothy 4:12) Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Timothy was young. Likely, older leaders would give him little consideration.
(1 Timothy 4:13) Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
Presumably the reading referred to here is public reading. Timothy is a teacher of the faith and likely teaches Christians at large as well as other church leaders. Perhaps his gift is that he is a good teacher, but he is shy to teach older people because this goes against the culture — that is why he is so bashful about it and requires Paul to prop him up. Those being taught by Timothy could expect Paul to rebuke them if they caused any trouble for Timothy.
(1 Timothy 4:14) Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
The laying on of hands was probably his ordination. Someone likely noticed that he was a good teacher and prophesied over him at that time. Timothy was given this gift by virtue of his ordination. He had a natural aptitude to teach but could only exercise that aptitude in the church once ordained.
(1 Timothy 4:15) Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
Timothy is to ponder his ordination and the prophecy about his being a teacher of bishops, priests, deacons, and Christians at large.
(1 Timothy 4:16) Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
Paul often stresses that Christians need to continue firm in the faith. Apparently he observed many fall away.
(1 Timothy 5:1) Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren.
Perhaps Timothy had a tendency to lash out in frustration. When these older church leaders provoked Timothy because of his age, he might be tempted to treat them harshly. Perhaps this is Timothy's weakness — that he had a low tolerance for stress.
(1 Timothy 5:3) Honour widows that are widows indeed.
Timothy had charge over administering charity programs for various groups of needy Christians.
(1 Timothy 5:17) Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
Timothy had charge over administering the payment of church leaders.
(1 Timothy 5:19) Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.
Timothy had charge over judging in disputes or accusations of church leaders.
(1 Timothy 5:20) Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
Timothy had charge over church discipline, including publically proclaiming peoples sins and even excommunicating them.
(1 Timothy 5:21) I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.
In all these duties, Timothy was to be fair and just.
(1 Timothy 5:22) Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.
Timothy determined when someone was ready to be ordained.
(1 Timothy 6:14) That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul wants Timothy to never fall from grace.
(1 Timothy 6:17,18) Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate.
Usually it is the rich in society that have all the clout. Timothy is to instruct and exhort even rich people. This could mean that he has to endure all kinds of retribution if he doesn't provide what these influential people want.
(1 Timothy 6:20) O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called.
Paul finally exhorts Timothy to keep up with his duties and responsibilities, to not fall from grace.
(2 Timothy 1:2) To Timothy, my dearly beloved son.
Paul considers Timothy to be a son (and himself to be a spiritual father).
(2 Timothy 1:4) Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy.
Apparently, crying by men to express their love for one another was culturally acceptable.
(2 Timothy 1:5) When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
Paul has to convince himself that Timothy's deep faith is real. Perhaps this is what Paul means when he says that he is not a good speaker. This is a graceless way to compliment someone's faith.
(2 Timothy 1:6) Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
Timothy's gift was activated by his being ordained. Therefore, it has something to do with things that ordained ministers do such as teach, instruct, exhort, administer, etc. I suspect it refers to teaching since Paul has to constantly remind him to attend to all the other mundane duties as if Timothy is really not very interested or gifted at them. It seems that Timothy was one of those bishops who was forced into the role of church leadership with all it's duties and responsibilities but that he would have rather been doing something else.
(2 Timothy 1:7) For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Timothy would naturally be afraid of teaching and exhorting the older and more influential bishops around him. It was likely a burden for him to be placed in this role, but he was a gifted teacher and he was willing to serve Paul by being a front man for him. But once Paul died? I wonder how difficult it might have been for Timothy once those around him no longer had Paul to contend with. They probably dumped their full load of troubles on poor Timothy. He probably resigned his position or moved somewhere to where he was no longer in the middle of it all.
(2 Timothy 1:8) Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God.
Perhaps Timothy was nervous about being mocked when he mentioned the gospel or that Paul was imprisoned. Perhaps he was a sensitive soul who didn't like being mocked and jeered.
(2 Timothy 1:13) Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
Paul exhorts everybody to remain true to his teaching.
(2 Timothy 1:14) That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
Others committed the gift to Timothy, probably during his ordination. Paul exhorts Timorthy to use the power of the Holy Spirit to keep himself charged-up and motivated to use his gift.
(2 Timothy 2:2) And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
Timothy is a link of the chain of apostolic succession. He passes on the teaching he learned from Paul to the next generation of church leaders.
(2 Timothy 2:14) Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
Timothy must correct and exhort other church leaders and bishops.
(2 Timothy 2:15) Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Teachers are to become better and better trained over time.
(2 Timothy 2:22) Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Probably referring to remaining firmly committed to his duties rather than looking for ways to squander time to avoid the stress and pressure of the job.
(2 Timothy 2:23) But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
Timothy is interacting with teachers and heretics and he must teach, exhort, and correct them.
(2 Timothy 2:24) And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient.
Perhaps Timothy got frustrated easily and wasn't gracious to people in these situations.
(2 Timothy 2:25) In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.
Perhaps Timothy could be overbearing and graceless.
(2 Timothy 3:14) But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.
Paul often writes to encourage everyone to continue firm in the true faith.
(2 Timothy 3:15) And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Timothy was well educated in the faith.
(2 Timothy 4:1,2) I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
A summary of Timothy's predicament. His gift was likely to teach and preach. He had the responsibility to reprove, rebuke, and exhort Christians and bishops. He was to have patience in doing these things.
(2 Timothy 4:5) But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
Timothy was a high-ranking bishop and evangelist.