On Sunday our Pastor challenged us to read one set of 10 verses, 2 times a day for the week.
Since I "work' with the Young Adults, thought I would read 1 Timothy as this is Paul's letter to his mentee, Timothy. And yes, I looked up the word mentee...ha. I also say 'work' as it really is not work...I get to hang out with these wonderful young people on Sunday morning. I think they mentor me as much as I try to mentor them. We are joint mentees. (okay I did not look up how to pluralize that one)
So, 1 Timothy 1:1-10...wowza. First thought, that I need to continue to verse 17 as this seems to be a prelude to 11-17.
Monday, I used my Tree of Life version, so I ran into the word "tzaddik" a quick google search revealed this meant "righteous one". okay dokay.
This morning, while in the shower...cuz my clearest thinking is in the shower...well, except when I forget if I washed my face yet or not.... I was thinking. "Why does Paul start this with such a list of heavy sins?" I mean that is quite the list in verses 9-10.
So, for this morning's reading, I picked up my Legacy Bible and read the prelude that was there...and my question was pretty much answered with the Where. Timothy was leading the church in Ephesus....I've been there! During my European cruise, we stopped in Kusadasi Turkey and toured the ruins of Ephesus.
Now, Ephesus is an ancient port city. Huge and full of commerce. It was also the home of the Temple of Artemis, one of the 7 Wonders of the World. I remember during our tour, the guide pointing out how you can still see engraved in the stone, the symbol used to point the way to the brothels...as this was big business in a port city visited by sailors. I will leave it at that.
Also, this is the city in Acts 19...where there was some trouble(okay pretty much a riot) because preaching Christ was threatening the commerce of the city and challenged their Goddess, Artemis. So, Paul knew this city well.
Do I dare? a hustling, bustling city...where licentiousness is allowed, promoted .. Where the local authorities are hostile to the spread of the gospel...is there a city near us that we can see a parallel to? or even a state we live in? see this letter from the university my dd went to in So Cal about SB1146.
Vanuguard University call to Action
I would say all things considered I understand why Paul starts with such a heavy list in this epistle.
But looking above the list...who is he talking about? because....
Back to day one, the tzaddik...he is saying that the teaching of the Torah is not given for the tzaddik.. (back to Tree of Life) but for those who commit the list... something else to explore? You betcha.