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Sunday: Back in Lystra — 11 Comments

  1. The church had decided that circumcision was not a requirement for Christian and yet here we find Paul circumcising Timothy. This seem to contradict the very message that Paul was currently tking to the Gentile converts Why then did he do it? We should consider two points:

    A) While circumcision was not required, it was not prevented either.

    B) In the case of Timothy, he was of Greek and Jewish heritage. I think that Paul remembered that they would be doing a lot of their preaching in Synagogues and Paul did not want circumcision overshadowing his preaching of the Gospel. Jewish listeners would have made quite a distracting argument about it.

    Was it a compromise, or a Spirit-inspired strategy? 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 probably provides the explanation.

    There is another issue that is almost overlooked in today's lesson. The Holy Spirit guided Paul and Silas not to preach in certain cities. We often focus on the Holy Spirit advising us to do something. Here the Holy Spirit is advising Paul not to do something.

  2. The confusing matter in the lesson is understanding why the Holy Spirit forbid them to go to certain places.... Why?

    • Is it our goal to explain or to accept the Holy Spirit's guidance? Perhaps by not allowing them to go there the spirit was setting in place situations that would allow them to go where He had already been and needed His servants to follow up with those who were being brought to Jesus!

  3. What is not mentioned in this account is Timothy's willingness to aide the apostle Paul in reaching all classes, including the highly prejudiced Jews. He obviously trusted Paul's judgment and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

  4. Joe, I don't know for sure and I wondered this myself. What I believe is that it was a matter of timing. Perhaps the Holy Spirit knew that if they went at that time the message would not be received as well. Or perhaps it was more urgent for the message to go elsewhere first.

    Perhaps the ground needed to be tilled (prepared) a bit more.

  5. So my question would be: Since Timothy was a full grown adult Jew but now a Christian under the new RULE of no need for circumcision why would anyone question Timothy as to whether he was circumcised? And couldn't he just say yes to that question since IN CHRIST all are now under Jesus' Circumcision according to Colossians 2:11-13? And anyway, how did the Jewish Priests make sure that a man was circumcised before entering the Synagogue? Did he inspect a man by having that man show him his private part?

  6. Paul said, "To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the Law I became like one under the Law (though I myself am not under the Law), to win those under the Law."

    it is truly remarkable nothing should hinder the spreading of the gospel even circumcision; therefore he circumcises Timothy.

    Acts 16:13 - Another remarkable endeavor in spreading of the gospel.
    13 And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there.
    This passage shows Paul's extent to reach all for the gospel of Christ.

    He must have attended the synagogue and found women who would be gathered at the riverside where prayer was CUSTOMARILY held.
    Paul brings the gospel to these woman when culture dictated woman are not worthy of the receiving and understanding the gospel truth.

    There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

    Equality of woman was established in and through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    No other religion under the sun I know had equality taught and established such as Christianity.

  7. Joe,
    The Spirit leads and we may never understand why but trust that the Lord knows what areas He was ready to send them as He may have already prepared their hearts OR that possibly preaching in certain areas may have ended the ministry sooner that the Lord wanted as people were often wanting to put them death. There are too many possibilities to know for sure but this I do know, "For who knows a person's thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God." 1 Cor 2:11 NIV

  8. I think Paul saw what would be effective to have a Timothy who was uncircumcised Timothy who would be deprived on preaching among the Jews in Synagogue or do at the risk of being stoned. As Jesus himself taught that his followers must be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. We should not unnecessarily be stirring controversy on subjects where compromise won't harm us.

  9. My it is interesting how the Holy spirit takes part in the preaching of the gospel,cause surely here you can really see that every step I.e the place, Paul's wisdom and the preaching God is with them.


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