A high-ranking bishop


2 Timothy 4:1,2 sums-up Timothy's predicament. His gift was to teach and preach, and once ordained, he was able to do this. As a high-ranking bishop, he had the responsibility to reprove, rebuke, and exhort all Christians, and even bishops. He was to have patience in doing these things because he had a low tolerance for stress and let out his frustrations on others.

As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine. (1 Timothy 1:3)

Timothy is a high-ranking bishop. He is concerned with teaching, doctrine, and fighting heresy, even commanding other church leaders and excommunicating some.

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (1 Timothy 2:1,2)

It appears that Timothy leads public services and trains others how to do so.

This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. (1 Timothy 3:1)

Timothy chooses and ordains bishops. He is a very high-ranking bishop travelling to various cities and choosing and ordaining bishops.

Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. (1 Timothy 4:13)

Presumably the reading referred to here is public reading. Timothy is a teacher of the faith and likely teaches Christians at large as well as other church leaders. Perhaps his gift is that he is a good teacher, but he is shy to teach older people because this goes against the culture — that is why he is so bashful about it and requires Paul to prop him up. Those being taught by Timothy could expect Paul to rebuke them if they caused any trouble for Timothy.

Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. (1 Timothy 4:14)

The laying on of hands was probably his ordination. Someone likely noticed that he was a good teacher and prophesied over him at that time. It says that Timothy was given this gift by virtue of his ordination. He had a natural aptitude to teach but could only exercise that aptitude in the Church once ordained.

Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren. (1 Timothy 5:1)

Perhaps Timothy had a tendency to lash out in frustration. When these older church leaders provoked Timothy because of his young age, he might be tempted to treat them harshly. Perhaps this is Timothy's weakness — that he had a low tolerance for stress.

Honour widows that are widows indeed. (1 Timothy 5:3)

Timothy had charge over administering charity programs for various groups of needy Christians.

Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. (1 Timothy 5:17)

Timothy had charge over administering the payment of church leaders.

Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. (1 Timothy 5:19)

Timothy had charge over judging in disputes or accusations of church leaders.

Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. (1 Timothy 5:20)

Timothy had charge over church discipline, including publically proclaiming people's sins and even excommunicating them.

Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure. (1 Timothy 5:22)

Timothy determined when someone was ready to be ordained.

Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate. (1 Timothy 6:17,18)

Usually it is the rich in society that have all the clout. Timothy is to instruct and exhort even rich people. This could mean that he has to endure all kinds of retribution if he doesn't provide what these influential people want.

Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. (2 Timothy 1:6)

Timothy's gift was activated by his being ordained. Therefore, it has something to do with things that ordained ministers do such as teach, instruct, exhort, administer, etc. I suspect it refers to teaching since Paul has to constantly remind him to attend to all the other mundane duties as if Timothy is really not very interested or gifted at them. It seems that Timothy was one of those bishops who was forced into the role of church leadership with all its duties and responsibilities but that he would have rather been doing something else.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)

Timothy would naturally be afraid of teaching and exhorting the older and more influential bishops around him. It was likely a burden for him to be placed in this role, but he was a gifted teacher and he was willing to serve Paul by being a front man for him. But once Paul died? I wonder how difficult it might have been for Timothy once those around him no longer had Paul to contend with. They probably dumped their full load of troubles on poor Timothy. He probably resigned his position or moved somewhere to where he was no longer in the middle of it all.

That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us. (2 Timothy 1:14)

Others committed the gift to Timothy, probably during his ordination. Paul exhorts Timorthy to use the power of the Holy Spirit to keep himself charged-up and motivated to use his gift.

Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. (2 Timothy 2:14)

Timothy must correct and exhort other church leaders and bishops.

Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

Teachers are to become better and better trained over time.

But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. (2 Timothy 2:23)

Timothy is interacting with teachers and heretics and he must teach, exhort, and correct them.

And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient. (2 Timothy 2:24)

Perhaps Timothy got frustrated easily and wasn't gracious to people in these situations.

In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. (2 Timothy 2:25)

Perhaps Timothy could be overbearing and graceless.

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (2 Timothy 4:1,2)

A summary of Timothy's predicament. His gift was likely to teach and preach. He had the responsibility to reprove, rebuke, and exhort Christians and bishops. He was to have patience in doing these things.

But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (2 Timothy 4:5)

Timothy was a high-ranking bishop and evangelist.