“Not So Different after All”

            Just a week ago, as I walked with my family through Centennial Park in Nashville, Tennessee, I was reminded how similar our society today is to the ancient Greco-Roman society Timothy confronted in 1st century Ephesus. As we meandered along the walking paths, a massive structure came into our view that transported my imagination to a very different time and place. It was a full-scale replica of the Parthenon, an ancient Greek temple to the goddess Athena, complete with a 42-foot-tall statue of Athena inside. At first the structure seemed out of place, but then I remembered what I had been studying in preparation to preach 1 Timothy, and I considered that perhaps Timothy’s context and ours are not so different after all. Timothy lived in a time and place in which there were many ideologies swirling that contradicted the gospel of Jesus Christ. He lived in a multicultural megacity (at least from 1st century standards) that celebrated money and sexuality. He served in a church embroiled in controversies over how to handle God’s Word and apply it to the cultural moment. Not so different from our context, is it? This pensive pause at the park reminded me how relevant Paul’s letter to Timothy is to our current cultural moment, and my hope is that you will see and submit to God’s good design for His church even though it runs contrary to the way of our world, just as it did to Timothy’s. May the Holy Spirit guide you through this study so that “you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).

Pastor Mike