I’ve outlined the whole first chapter of 1 Timothy (my favorite book of the Bible), verse by verse, trying to find insights, and I have decided to share some of those insights with you. Because why not?
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, to Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~ 1 Timothy 1:1-2
First let’s state the obvious. Paul is writing to Timothy. That phrase “an apostle by command” says that the Lord chose him specifically, and it shows obedience to God’s plan. Now, an apostle is a preacher, someone who establishes churches. Paul introduced himself humbly, and I find it interesting that he says he’s an apostle, even though he’s speaking to Timothy, who knows who he is well.
And look at the end of that first part: “Christ Jesus our hope.” Jesus is truly our only hope. He took all of our sin and perished so that we can spend eternity with Him. Without Him, we are doomed to hell and eternal separation from our Creator. But he also calls Jesus “Lord” ~ while Jesus is our only hope for eternal life, He is also our Master, and He does have tasks for us to do in order to bring glory to Him. In addition to that, Paul calls God both “Savior” and “Father.” This, to me, is evidence to the Trinity of the Father, Son, and Spirit ~ when he speaks of God as his Savior, it seems like he’s addressing the Son part of the Trinity, while he later addresses the Father part.
Paul is writing to Timothy with obvious affection by calling him “my true son in the faith.” Timothy was probably more like Paul than any of Paul’s followers. He was like his clone. He was fully devoted to the Lord and to doing His work: planting and leading churches. He had Paul’s faith, and relationships with Jesus circle around faith. We cannot see Him, but we must place complete trust in Him. And Timothy was a son to Paul; he was young when he joined Paul on his adventures, and, since his father had been gone, Paul became a father figure to Timothy. Timothy, being like a son to Paul, acted like a son: he was obedient and respectful, and in turn Paul cared for and treated Timothy like a son, loving him and teaching him his own “trade” ~ preaching.
Those three words in the last part ~ grace, mercy, and peace ~ have their own deep meanings. Grace is being Christlike; I’m particularly highlighting the loving and truthful sides. Mercy is being compassionate and having good judgment. It’s being able to relate to other people’s problems and sympathizing with them. Having peace is keeping a cool head, being slow to anger, and having the certainty that God is in control. It is also one of the Fruits of the Spirit.
In other epistles, grace and peace are given, but this one includes mercy. Paul was writing to Timothy about how to lead a church, and I think that the inclusion of mercy is very important indeed ~ a leader of the church must know how to show compassion, or else how will his church stay together? It would simply crumble under him. Timothy needed God’s mercy in teh days when God’s spirit was displayed more, so how much more do we need it now?