Acts 16:1-5 :
He came to Derbe and Lystra: and behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewess who believed; but his father was a Greek. The brothers who were at Lystra and Iconium gave a good testimony about him. Paul wanted to have him go out with him, and he took and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts; for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered the decrees to them to keep which had been ordained by the apostles and elders who were at Jerusalem. So the assemblies were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.
Among Christians, it isn’t unusual find broken families. For a variety of reasons, many Christians find themselves in a broken home at the time they come to believe. This may have even been the case with Paul and we see here that Timothy needed guidance as a young man. It is wonderful how God brings people together in His family. He wants all of us to be the brother, son, father and mother that others never had. We have a very special family relationship now in God’s family and this family is permanent, unlike our earthly families.
It’s difficult to understand why Paul had Timothy circumcised, especially while carrying a letter to the Gentiles telling them that they didn’t have to. Luke makes it clear hear that it wasn’t in order to follow the law of Moses, but “because of the Jews who were in those parts.” Some people are so focused on the external that they cannot see the truth at all. Sometimes, we have the opportunity to make a change so that others can see more clearly and come to know Christ. It isn’t that Jesus requires us to change, but that changing may be a bridge that can help someone come to their senses. It may have been that because Timothy really was a Jew it made sense to express that fact physically at that time. I wonder, however, if this is something that Paul later realized was not really that beneficial because of what He was later to write down.
It is good to see that Paul and Timothy’s work was being clearly blessed as more and more people became disciples. I believe that we can expect the same today as God blesses the message that we share with others by His Holy Spirit.