THE young man you see here with the apostle Paul is Timothy. Timothy lives with his family in Lysʹtra. His mother is named Euʹnice and his grandmother Loʹis.
This is the third time that Paul has visited Lysʹtra. About a year or so before, Paul and Barʹna·bas first came here on a preaching trip. And now Paul has returned again with his friend Silas.
Do you know what Paul is saying to Timothy? ‘Would you like to join Silas and me?’ he is asking. ‘We could use your help in preaching to people in faraway places.’
‘Yes,’ Timothy answers, ‘I would like to go.’ So soon afterward Timothy leaves his family and goes with Paul and Silas. But before we learn about their trip, let’s find out what’s been happening to Paul. It’s been about 17 years since Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus.
Remember, Paul came to Damascus to hurt Jesus’ disciples, but now he is a disciple himself! Later some enemies plan to kill Paul because they don’t like his teaching about Jesus. But the disciples help Paul to escape. They put him in a basket and let him down outside the city wall.
Afterward Paul goes to Antioch to preach. It is here that Jesus’ followers are first called Christians. Paul and Barʹna·bas are then sent out from Antioch on a preaching trip to far-off countries. One of the cities they visit is Lysʹtra, the home of Timothy.
Now, about a year later, Paul is back in Lysʹtra on a second trip. When Timothy leaves with Paul and Silas, do you know where they go? Look at the map, and let’s learn some of the places.
First, they go to nearby I·coʹni·um, then to a second city named Antioch. After that they travel up to Troʹas, then over to Phi·lipʹpi, Thes·sa·lo·niʹca and Be·roeʹa. Do you see Athens on the map? Paul preaches there. After that they spend a year and a half preaching in Corinth. Finally they make a short stop in Ephʹe·sus. Then they come back by boat to Caes·a·reʹa, and travel up to Antioch, where Paul stays.
So Timothy travels hundreds and hundreds of miles helping Paul to preach the “good news” and to start many Christian congregations. When you grow older, will you be a faithful servant of God like Timothy?