The Cost of Access

Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily. Acts 16:1-5.

In our last installment, we made much of the fact that God did not require the Gentiles to be circumcised in order to follow Christ. So, why is Paul having Timothy circumcised? It is because they are still reaching out to the Jews in their synagogues, and the Jews require it for Timothy to enter.

I believe this is a pretty steep price. Timothy must have had a heart to reach his mother’s people. I am sure he did this willingly. It was his cross to bear; although it was not for himself, but others.

How willing are we to suffer to reach our neighbors, our kin, our nation? Many Christian martyrs preached at the cost of their lives over the centuries. Are we willing to be sneered at, mocked, defriended, shunned to be identified with Christ, and for offering eternal life? Get in now, while the price is relatively low!

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