Timothy was able to learn from Paul because he listened, he discerned, and he committed what he learned to others.
In 2 Tim 2:2, Paul gave instructions to Timothy on how to pass on to others what he had received from Paul.
When Paul met Timothy, he was already a disciple and he was well reported of the brethren. Acts 16:31 was the beginning for Timothy. If the Scofield notes are right, this was 52 AD.
2 Timothy was written to Timothy about 66 AD, 14 years later. Paul’s letter to Timothy is full of instructions that Paul taught Timothy at the end of Paul’s ministry.
Timothy heard Paul teach and preach for 14 years. And after all these years, Timothy was still Timothy. Timothy was always Timothy. And, if you’re going to be a good discipler, you will must remember that you are a Timothy. A good Timothy:
The things that THOU HAST HEARD. You have to keep listening. The idea is that you are teaching others what you have heard. The trouble with the Pharisees is that they heard but didn’t understand. If any man have ears to hear let him hear.
Timothy was teachable. Therefore, you must be teachable. One of the great failures on the mission field is that men aren’t teachable. Do you suppose that the mission field is the only place where men fail because they aren’t teachable? Don’t you think this truth can be applied to all preachers? The worst thing you can do is over value yourself.
When I graduated from PBI, we were taught to believe that the KJV is the word of God, and we believed it and knew why we believed it. We learned to study by cross referencing, knowing that everything God wanted us to know could be found in the pages of this book. But we didn’t learn the ministry. God graciously put men in my life who taught me.
For instance, some men know how to get the people, but don’t have much to teach them. You can learn from the men who know. Other men know what to teach them, but don’t know how to get the people. You can learn from the men who get them. We can learn from each other.
Keep learning. You can only teach what you know and most of what you know you learned from someone else. When you quit learning, you have nothing more to teach. I’m still learning today. Robert E. Lee said, “Your education stops when you die”. Pastor Keck said that the trouble with the younger generation of preachers is that they are not readers. They are weak on Bible and illustrations.
Of me AMONG MANY WITNESSES.
Of me. Timothy saw Paul do what he taught over and over again. Repetition is a good teacher. 2 Pet 1:12 “Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth”.
Acts 16:3 says about Timothy, “Him would Paul have to go forth with him”. Perry Demopoulos says that the key word in discipleship is WITH. Peter saw Jesus do the same things over and over again. He always gave them scripture. Peter stood up in Acts 1 and 2 and do you know what he did? He gave them scripture.
Many witnesses. These are not off-shoot doctrines. They are not “original” with Timothy. Paul said, that they are “of me”. We need no new gimmicks. These are common things; not unique or extraordinary. Some may think that ordinary is not good enough. It’s good enough.
Many witnesses. God doesn’t give all that he has to one man. So, no one man can teach you everything. You are going to learn from many witnesses. We shouldn’t align ourselves with just one source. I have learned much from men who don’t believe exactly like I do, but they are among the faithful witnesses who have heard. Damon Woods, a BBFI missionary in the Philippines, taught me one of the most important lessons on teaching I have ever learned.
The same COMMIT THOU. This is more than teaching. Dennis Wells said, “Church and Sunday school are lecture environments. People don’t retain much of what they hear in a lecture. They must learn to implement. They learn implementation by demonstration. Create opportunities away from the church building where they can learn to implement what you are teaching them”.
THOU. Your discipleship cannot be delegated; and it can’t be neglected. David Benavides taught me very much about personal work in the months we spent visiting folks 40 hours per week. God gave him something and he gave it to me. And now I’m giving it to others. We are homegrown; but we aren’t inbred.
If the men who thought Jesus would return in 1989 had not committed what they learned to us, we wouldn’t have what they gave us to pass on to others. I asked one time, who’s going to continue when they’re gone. The answer is, “We are”. They delivered what they were given to our charge. And now it’s our duty, task, and obligation to do for others what they did for us. So, don’t quit now.
I might just say in closing about “who shall be able to teach others also”, that “the best student in the classroom is the teacher”. They will learn more by teaching, which brings us back to the beginning of this lesson.