Paul and Timothy have arguably one of the most important relationships in the Bible. Paul, is the model example of a great instructor and Timothy is an excellent student. However, we live in a world of students that hate teachers and teachers that don’t set a good example. What would happen if we didn’t hate our teachers though? If our teachers didn’t, as they sometimes do, hate their job. If all of us wanted to be taught as much as Timothy, what would be different?
It should be noted that I am not attacking teachers so much as I am attempting to correct students. Paul was a very intelligent and well-read man, a great teacher, writer, and preacher, seeing as most of his letters were dictated. He cared about his student and wanted him to grow and to use the gift given to him by prophecy (1 Timothy 4:14). He was patient because he loved Timothy like his son; he would never have insulted him or torn him down in any way. This Biblical model for being a teacher should be followed exactly. The love, care, and the patience given to Timothy by Paul is incredible.
Now, you may be wondering how I can see all this from the small amount of information about the two. Of course there are two letters as evidence of the relationship; taking the time to write a letter is a very important thing. In addition, the book of Acts speaks of the two of them on several occasions, including the first meeting of the two, and Paul welcomes the student gladly.
Timothy was an excellent student. He was easy to teach – we see that in the length of the letters and in the faith that Paul has while instructing him. Timothy was blessed with the gift of teaching and he was sent to be a pastor at a new church that just goes to show that he was a good learner. Timothy was well built up by a teacher that cared genuinely about him, and for that the church profited and grew.
Just ponder that for a while. Think about how much better off we would be if we were taught kindly and personally and learned calmly with a respect for our teachers. Imagine what we could do. Therefore, teachers: build up your students and see their true potential. Students: be teachable, take instruction calmly and respectfully, show your teachers the respect they deserve for the time they took to receive the education they needed to receive to be there.