Chapter 5 is probably one of the richest text we have which deals with our relationships with our fellowman. This chapter deals with the older men and women and the younger men and women. It also deals with widows and their children and grandchildren. It even talks about how to deal with a sinful bishop. How we deal with our fellowman and with our brothers and sisters in Christ is very important. In fact the Bible deals with this in many places. For instance Paul pleaded with the brethren at Thessalonica to love one another in 1Thes 4:9 and he told the Romans that we are to prefer one another Rom. . But probably the best advice Paul gave in regards to how we treat one another is found in Philp† 2:1-4. Jesus himself gives some sound advice on dealing with others Matt. 7:12.
The word rebuke here means to strike at or treat one harshly. He is to be treated as you father. No doubt Timothy had been taught about respecting ones elders. Lev. 19:32, Pro. , 16:31. We need to treat them with honor as a child is to treat his father in mother as stated in Eph 6:2. †Look at what Paul told the Galatians in Gal 6:1. Notice Timothy is to exhort him that is to instruct him but to do so with kindness. He is to treat the younger men as brothers. That is he would have sincere love for them and encourage them and be an example to them. The older women are to be treated as mothers. A child who loves his mother will be very affectionate toward her and give her great respect. Again, we must treat the older women with kindness just as we are to treat the older men. Finally he was to treat the younger women as his sister with purity. Notice Paul adds to treat here with purity. The word purity here has the idea of chastity or sinlessness of life. As a minister or any Christian works with the opposite sex they need to be very careful in not getting themselves in a situation that might cause sinful behavior. Impure thoughts can quickly lead to disaster. If a minister is working with a young lady with problems she is having or is even conducting a Bible study he needs to be on guard and make sure that he is treating her as a sister and she is treating him as a brother. In fact if possible I would recommend that a minister have another man or women along with him when he conducts a Bible study with a women who is by herself. Many accusations can be made inside and outside of the church if a minister is seen time after time entering a single womens house.
3 These are widows who have no family members to take care of them. They are destitute and have no way taking care of their selves. You notice in our verse that† widows are to be honored. Even under the old covenant widows were to be honored and respected. Exo. 22:22-24. In the New Testament we see where the widows were being neglected by the church but this issue was taken care. Read 6:1-4. †So if there is a widow who is truly in need the church should help them.
4. A widow who has children or grandchildren should not be a widow indeed. She is to receive help from them instead of the church. Children and grandchildren have a God given responsibility to help widowed mothers and grandmothers. Do you remember who in the NT tried to neglect their responsibility of taking care of their parents? Mat 15: 3-7. Jesus called them a hypocrite then and he would call those children and grandchildren who neglect their responsibility hypocrites today. Paul tells us in Eph 6:2 to honor our fathers and mothers. How soon children forgot all the sacrifices their parents made for them and how they took care of them. We honor our parents by giving back to them some of that same loving care they gave us as we grew into adults. Let us never neglect our widows.
5 This verse just
re-emphasizes that a true widow indeed has no family to turn but only has God
6 This type of widow is on the opposite side of the scale of the widow indeed. This type of person has their eyes focused on pleasure instead of Godly things. Basically this a worldly type of person whose only desire is to satisfy themselves. The church is not to support such a person who has choosen to live an undisciplined and immoral life. This kind of widow is spiritually dead and will only bring reproach upon the Lord body.
7 Timothy is to make sure
that these Christians here at
8. If a Christian refuses to care for their own family Paul says they are worse than an unbeliever. Even those outside of the church most of the time will honor their parents but we as Christians should set the standard. Notice Paul is saying that a Christian who does not take care of his family had denied the faith. What horrible situation for a Christian† to be in. To be counted lower than† an unbeliever and denier of the faith.
In these verses we have been talking about widows who need help from the church. Of course there are many widows in the church who hold these same characteristics who have a way for providing for themselves and do not need help from the church.
Before we move on to the enrolled widows in vrs 9 and 10. I want to look at what widows can do. Some people and maybe even the widows themselves might think that there not much for them to do for the Lord. But I want to look at several examples of from the OT and the NT of some wonderful works by widows.
The book of Ruth is excellent
example of widows. First of all there was the older widow Naomi who had 2 sons
who were married 2 woman of
1King 17:8-16. Here we see that God uses a widow to provide for Elijah.
Lk 2:36-38. This widow was examples to others as she did miss an opportunity to go to the temple and pray and worship God almighty. To think she did this for 84 years. Can you imagine how she encouraged so many Jews with her dedication to the Lord. Widows can do the same thing today by showing such a dedication to the Lord in how they live their lives and how they donít miss any opportunity to worship God.
Here we see that one of the qualifications mentioned here was washing the saints feet. What I would like to do at this time is look at the concept of washing the saints feet. Is this something that we should do in our public worship? Some religious groups would say yes and they them themselves make washing each others feet a part of their worship service. In fact some would claim that Jesus was the one that instituted the washing of the saints feet in John 13.
Jesus however was not the one who instituted the washing of feet. In fact it was a practice that was done all the way back in Abrahamís day. Gen 18:1-4. Jesus was merely doing something that had been practiced long before he came to the earth. As we will discover he had purpose and a lesson for washing his disciples feet at this time. We must understand that when people traveled back in those days they either wore sandals which consisted of a sole and a couple of straps or they went bare foot. So when the traveled their feet became very dirty and uncomfortable. So when they went to a house the custom was that the owner of the home would have water set out so that the traveler could wash his feet and feel refreshed. This is what a good host would do. We can see other examples of this† in Gen 19:2, 24:32, 43:24, Jud 19:21, 2 Sam 11:8. †Jesus rebuked Simon the Pharisee for his failure to wash His feet upon entrance into his house (Luke ).† Sometimes the host would have his servants wash your feet and if he really wanted to honor his guest he would wash their feet himself. What we have looked at so far shows that feet washing was something was practiced long ago and was not instituted by the Lord. John 13:3-17. †Look what Jesus taught Mat -28, Luke 22: 24-27. This was all about servitude to one another being humble enough to take on task of washing you brothers feet if the circumstance was needed.
†This was not an act that was instituted or meant to be a part of the worship assembly. After the church was established in Acts 2 we can see very clearly some of things that were to be done in the public assembly. We see in Acts† 20:7 that when they meet they partook of the Lords Supper and there was preaching being done. In 1Cor 16:1-2 they gave of their means when they assembled and in Eph we can see that they sing when they are gathered. But not one single example can be given after the establishment of the church that anyone washed the saints feet in public worship. In fact we only have one mentioning of washing feet after the establishment of the church and it is† found in our text in 1Tim . Notice how these qualification take place in the home and are connected with lodging strangers. To make washing of feet something that is suppose to be done in worship service is to take this verse completely out of context.
Here Paul is talking about something different. He is talking about a qualification for an enrolled widow. This word enrolled has the idea of being put on a list or taken into the number. What were these widows being enrolled into? Well we simply donít have enough information to know for sure. But we can get a glimpse into what Paul was talking about here. We can see from verse 12 that apparently these widows made some sort of pledge to the church to work for the church in one way or another. The reason why these widows needed to be over 60 was so that they would keep this pledge they had committed to. More than likely a women over 60 would have less of a desire to have another husband. This is backed up as we see what Paul teaches us about the younger widows.
A younger widow at first may think that they may never desire to remarry again and apparently this had become a problem during this time because we see in verse 15 that Paul has already seen such young widows fall into this category. No Paul wants the younger widows to remarry and have a family so that they wont find themselves in a difficult situation where they might fall into the lust of the flush.
16 Paul wraps this up and this reinforces† vrs 8
We learn from this text that an elder who rules well is worth double honor and rightly so. As we have spent a great deal of time in the past showing the awesome responsibility of an elder when you have one that serving well that is they have their whole heart into overseeing the congregation they spend a great deal of time of shepherding the flock trying to keep them spiritually strong by encouraging them and caring for them Paul tells us that they are worth double honor especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. What is interesting is this term double honor. It can mean a couple of different things. 1st of all it can mean they are worthy of double respect. 2nd of all this carries the idea of be supported finically. With this in mind from this verse we can see where a elder who is working from for church full time either sheparding or being the preacher for the congregation can have support from the church just like we support the preacher we have now. This is further pointed out by verse 18.
First Paul quotes from Deut 25:4 He uses this exact same scripture when he was writing to the Corinthians showing that a preacher or minister should be supported by the church. 1Cor 9:7-14. †To under stand this phrase it will help us to understand what it means. In order to thresh their corn the people back then would either beat or they would laying it across a threshing floor and they would take 2 oxen and tie them† to a center post and drive them around and around in a circle. They however were not muzzled because they were allowed to eat some the grain they were threshing because they earned it. The animal would be more than happy to continue to labor since it was being rewarded with this grain.
2nd Paul quotes from the book of Luke 10:7 similir to Mat (the disciples were sent out). We can learn 2 lessons from this. First one of course is that† if a† elder a preacher or and others who work for the church full time deserve to be supported by the church. The second lesson is that this verse shows that the book of Luke was written before 1Timothy. Some try and say that the book of Luke was written at a much latter date but the only place you find this verse word for word is in the book of Luke and notice that Paul calls it scripture that is he recognizes as being the word of God just like the words that are found in the OT. This is very significant as some people will try to say that the NT is just a guideline written by men but it is not actually scripture. Even Peter refers to the writings of Paul as scriptures in 2 Peter 3:15.
Having 2 or 3 witnesses started back in the OT Det. 19:15. The reason for this† can be found in 2Cor 13:1. Very similar to how we deal with a brother in mat. 18:15-17. It is way to easy for one person who has their own motive to destroy and elder. This is why its important that their be 2 or 3 witnesses to establish the facts. Now if you have the witnesses and an elder is found in sin we see from verse 20 that they should be rebuked in the presence of all. When the other elders and the other members see that an someone such as elder is not going to get away with sin they can fear or† they can know that they will also be rebuked if they entangle themselves in sin as well. This all about keeping the body of Christ pure. Paul put it best when he said that a little leaven leavens the whole lump 1cor 5:6. Paul was very serious when it came to keeping the church pure as we read in this next verse.
21 Notice he charge Timothy before God, Jesus and the elect angels. This no doubt would have grabbed Timothyís attention as he realized the importance of Paulís words. None of these things† were to be done with prejudice that is prejudgment nor were they do be done with partiality. Prejudice and partially can be crippling to those of the church. For instance an elder should not be given double honor simple because people like the guy. He should only receive this honor if he has truly performed as an elder and has earned it. One should not let skin color age or wealth allow them to be partial or prejudice against another. Notice what James says in Ja. 2:1-4.
We have already talking about the laying on of hands. It was through the apostles hands that people were able to receive the gift of the HS. The elders of a church would also lay hands on those who they sent out on a mission. The apostles laid hands on those 7 men they appointed to take care of the neglected widows in Acts 6. Here in our text one possibility that most commentators give is that Paul is telling Timothy not to lay hands or appoint an elder hastily because the service of an elder is very important and should not just have someone made an elder with little thought. This may be a possibility for this text but the more I look it I get a different meaning out this verse. Based of the context that one must be careful of making an accusation† against an elder it seems to me that Paul is telling Timothy in this verse not only be careful about making a accusation against an elder donít make accusation against anyone hastily. In other words be sure before you accuse someone of doing something. Then Paul goes on to tell him not to share in other people sins but to keep himself pure.
Here in the middle of all this Paul shows is concern for Timothys health. We have already discussed at length wine in the Bible. This verse and no other verse in the Bible encourages social drinking. There is no way to tell in this verse if the wine mentioned here was fermented or unfermented. In either case Timothy was to take just a little for sickness for medical purposes. We also know that the Jews even when they did drink fermented wine that it was watered down to make it even weaker. Timothy being a example to the church apparently was abstaining from wine at this time.
Some† peoples sins are evident. Others can hide them from man but they can never hide them from God. Heb 4:13. Some people good works are evident while others may go unnoticed by others for a time they will eventually become noticed. Mat 5:14-16