Paul instructs Timothy how to treat different age-groups, and how to support Christian widows. People are to financially support and honor their leaders. [UPDATED]
VERSE 1. Don’t rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father; the younger men as brothers;
VERSE 2. the elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, in all purity.
Honor. The Greek word is τίμα (“tima”). It means to value at a price. It implies financial support.
VERSE 4. But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them learn first to show piety toward their own family and to repay their parents, for this is acceptable in the sight of God.
VERSE 5. Now she who is a widow indeed and desolate, has her hope set on God, and continues in petitions and prayers night and day.
VERSE 6. But she who gives herself to pleasure is dead while she lives.
VERSE 7. Also command these things, that they may be without reproach.
VERSE 8. But if anyone doesn’t provide for his own, and especially his own household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.
sixty years old. A widow needed to be at least 60 years old before she could be enrolled as a widow.
However, the average lifespan in those days was probably on the order of 45 years old. For that reason, most widows would have died before becoming eligible for this benefit.
VERSE 10. being approved by good works, if she has brought up children, if she has been hospitable to strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, and if she has diligently followed every good work.
VERSE 11. But refuse younger widows, for when they have grown wanton against Christ, they desire to marry,
grown wanton against Christ. That is, their sexual appetite would be too out of control.
their first pledge. The pledge the widows took was to Jesus Christ. Since they would break it if they were to marry, it was also a pledge to celibacy.
VERSE 13. Besides, they also learn to be idle, going about from house to house. Not only idle, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.
idle … gossips and busybodies. Paul has a very negative views of widows.
VERSE 14. I desire therefore that the younger widows marry, bear children, rule the household, and give no occasion to the adversary for insulting.
the younger widows marry. Paul does not want widows to remain single. Perhaps he does not trust women to live holy lives when they are single.
turned away after Satan. Paul is probably using the word “Satan” as a metaphor for false teachers.
VERSE 16. If any man or woman who believes has widows, let them relieve them, and don’t let the assembly be burdened, that it might relieve those who are widows indeed.
VERSE 17. Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and in teaching.
those who labor in the word. It is praiseworthy when a Christian leader toils firsthad in the Scriptures.
Very few Christian leaders have the time to do that. Their schedule is often overrun by meetings and counseling sessions.
And other Christian leaders have little interest in the Scriptures. For them, the Christian faith is more of an expression of culture rather than Divine Revelation.
and in teaching. It is praiseworthy when a Christian leader actually toils away at making good messages.
A trustworthy rule of thumb is that it takes an hour of preparation for every minute of preaching. So if you hear a 20-minute message, and it is a GREAT there is a good chance that it took the preacher about 20 hours to prepare it.
However, many preachers subscribe to magazines that provide them with pre-written messages for each weekend. That way, their preparation time is minimal.
VERSE 18. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox when it treads out the grain.” And, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”
The laborer is worthy of his wages. An effective Christian leader toils away at their ministry. They are worthy of a wage.
We should compensate Christian leaders for their leadership ministry. Most Christians interpret this verse as a command for them to provide financial support for their leaders in the faith.
VERSE 19. Don’t receive an accusation against an elder, except at the word of two or three witnesses.
Don’t receive an accusation against an elder. This produced disastrous results in the Catholic church.
For generations, bishops had routinely dismissed accusations that a cleric had sexually abused a child. Yet the overwhelming evidence worldwide is against the clerics and in favor of their victims.
that the rest also may be in fear. Intimidating people is hardly a good way to motive them to do the right thing.
VERSE 21. I command you in the sight of God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the chosen angels, that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing by partiality.
VERSE 22. Lay hands hastily on no one. Don’t be a participant in other people’s sins. Keep yourself pure.
Lay hands. In the early days, the Holy Spirit arrived by wind and fire at Pentecost. But later, the Holy Spirit usually arrived by the laying on of hands. Read more »
hastily on no one. A Christian denomination should not ordain a candidate too quickly.
VERSE 23. Be no longer a drinker of water only, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.
use a little wine. Some Christians assume that alcohol is evil and that all Christians should be teetotalers. However, that opinion is not biblical.
The Bible does not require people to be tee-totalers. Jesus himself drank wine. Of course, people with an addiction to alcohol should be teetotalers.
False teachers insist on abstinence for everybody:
1 Timothy 4:3. forbidding marriage and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
VERSE 24. Some men’s sins are evident, preceding them to judgment, and some also follow later.
VERSE 25. In the same way also there are good works that are obvious, and those that are otherwise can’t be hidden.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.