Read 2 Timothy 3:10-17
10You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11persecutions, sufferings — what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NIV)
As we look at this passage, we see that Paul is talking to Timothy about what a disciple looks like by using himself as a model. The word the NIV translates for “know all about” is the Greek word, “parakoloutheo.” It literally means to “follow alongside.” But it has a greater meaning to mean a person who sticks by someone through thick and thin. It means to follow someone mentally. It means to know a person spiritually. When Paul says, you know all about my teaching, my way of life, etc. he is saying you know and fully understand what it means to be a disciple.
For Paul, one could not be a disciple and not escape persecution. He contrasting the teaching of the false prophets who come and speak a message where nothing bad happens to you. This kind of teaching was a hold over of the Jewish thinking that the more righteous a person, the less problems they had. The more a person was a sinner, the more trouble they had in life. This is not true.
So, Paul reminds Timothy of his persecutions in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra. He also reminds him that the persecutions do not last – “they Lord rescued me from all of them.” Paul also points out that there is a goal with a disciple, to continue to grow in knowledge and love of God. Our goal is to constantly learn so that we so on the path God has for us. We continue in what we have learned.
Paul ends this section on the importance of Scripture. Now, the only Scripture at this point is the Old Testament. It is a reminder that we need to still look to the Old Testament to find truths about God. Paul says it is God-breathed or some translations my say, inspired by the Holy Spirit. Paul reminds Timothy that Scripture leads to Salvation. What we believe about Scripture is that while it nowhere near contains all there is to know about God, it contains enough information to accept God for salvation.
Paul goes on to say that our being in Scripture is good for teaching, rebuking, correcting and for becoming righteous. We believe that Scripture is not only inspired by the Holy Spirit, but alive. In that we mean that the Holy Spirit continues to inspire it hearing when we hear it or read it. That means that we can read a passage many different times and see knew meaning in it for our lives today. We may see something in today’s reading that we never saw before. That is because today we needed to hear it and not before.
Does your idea of being a disciple include suffering? Does it include learning to love, being patience and growing in your faith? How do you use Scripture to grow in you understanding of God and his love for you?
Other Questions? Comments?
Blessings and Peace