INTRODUCTION TO PAUL'S SECOND MISSIONARY JOURNEY
The narrative of Paul's second missionary journey that lasted for about three years is recorded in Acts 15:36 to 18:23. It began from Antioch. Paul first made a tour of the churches of Syria and Cilicia. Then he re-visited the churches in the regions of Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, and Pisidian Antioch. There followed a period when he could not see his way clear before him. That time of uncertainty ended with the vision at Troas. From Troas, Paul crossed to Neapolis and then to Philippi. From Philippi, he went on to Thessalonica and Berea. From there he went to Athens and then on to Corinth where he spent about eighteen months. From Corinth, he traveled to Jerusalem by way of Ephesus and finally back to Antioch, his starting point. The great step forward is that with this journey, Paul's activity passed beyond Asia Minor and Entered Europe.
It had been five years since Paul had preached in Derbe and Lystra but when he returned, his heart must have been gladdened for there had emerged a young man who was to be very dear to him. It was only natural that Paul should be looking for someone to take Mark's place. He was always well aware of the necessity of training a new generation for the work that lay ahead. He found just the kind of man he wanted in young Timothy. On the face of it, it is something of a problem that Paul circumcised Timothy for he had just won a battle in which circumcision had been declared unnecessary. The reason was that Timothy was a Jew and Paul had never said that circumcision was not necessary for Jews. It was the Gentiles who were freed.
Timothy was a lad with a great heritage. He had a good mother and a good grandmother. Often in days to come, he was to be Paul's messenger. He was at Rome with Paul when Paul was in prison. Timothy was very special to Paul. When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he called him "his beloved son". When he wrote to the Philippians, he said that there was no one whose mind was so much at one with his own. It seems very likely that Paul saw in Timothy his successor when he had to lay down his work.
Life Application: Have you ever found a child or young person you wanted to pour your life into to train? When I was in Bible School I looked for and found godly men to train/help me for my future. Their impact remains with me.
Praise/Prayer: Dear Father, I am so very thankful for the men you put in my life who prepared me for the work You called me to do. Then it became my turn to help those You brought to me. I know so many of them are still faithful to their calling. I pray that the others have remained faithful. Amen!