Saturday, 2 May 2015
Therefore let no one despise him. But send him on his journey in peace, that he may come to me; for I am waiting for him with the brethren. 1 Corinthians 16:11
This is still referring to Timothy. Paul already asked the Corinthians to “see that he may be with you without fear.” Not only should he not be intimidated, but he shouldn’t be looked down on either. Timothy was probably unaware of this kindness which is added into the letter. We can imagine Paul saying to him, “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine. They will treat you well.” But to ensure his words were met with like action, he is imploring them to so act. It would be a confidence-building moment in the life of Timothy.
After a proper reception and a welcome stay, Paul also implores them to “send him on his journey in peace, that he may come to me.” This is another petition for grace to be bestowed upon him. When Timothy departed Corinth, Paul wanted it to be with a blessing and in a brotherly way. He knew that if these things didn’t come about, Timothy might be ruined as a future leader. But by ensuring that he was cared for, he would then more readily accept future challenges in the mission field or in other ministries.
Finally, this verse notes, “…for I am waiting for him with the brethren.” As the NKJV translates this, it sounds as if Paul is with others and together they are awaiting the arrival of Timothy. If this is a proper translation, he has added it in to deter the Corinthians from anything but bestowing the highest kindness on Timothy, knowing that he will be meeting with Paul and so any negative actions or attitudes would come to him directly.
Other translations read this verse as, “…. I am expecting him along with the brothers.” This would mean that Paul was expecting the arrival of both Timothy and those who were with him. If this is the correct rendering, then it would add even more weight to Paul’s request for kindness to Timothy. Not only would he have a report of the Corinthians conduct, but it would be supported by those he traveled with. Either way, by adding the ending comment, he is ensuring that those in Corinth actually treat Timothy in a kind manner and that he would hear about it if they didn’t.
Life application: Just because someone may seem young, timid, or uninformed in certain areas of life, it doesn’t mean that they are incapable of doing the Lord’s work. Everyone has been given gifts which they can use to His glory. We should never despise their weaknesses, but rather exalt their strengths.
Lord, help me to look at others within Your church with the same eyes that You do. Each person has abilities that they can use to improve the body of believers. I know that the task for me is to encourage them in the things they can do rather than discourage them because of the things they cannot do or that they don’t want to do. Help me to have discerning eyes that can see their strengths and overlook their limitations. Each person is a valuable member of the whole. Help me to realize this. Amen.