1. 1 Thessalonians 1:1 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

What was the kind of relationship between Paul and Timothy?

1 Thessalonians 1:1 (ESV)

1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.

Timothy is probably the best-known associate of Paul. It seems likely that he was converted on Paul’s first missionary journey,1 and joined the apostle as a co-worker when Paul passed through Lystra on his second missionary journey (Acts 16:1–3). Timothy is mentioned frequently in Paul’s letters, and it is clear that a very warm and trusting relationship developed between him and Paul. In 1 Corinthians 4:17 Paul refers to Timothy as my son whom I love, and some of his last instructions, just before his death, were given to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:9–20). Timothy became a skilful and faithful minister of the gospel, with the result that Paul entrusted him with some important and sensitive tasks: he was sent to Thessalonica when Paul could not go there in person (1 Thessalonians 3:1–5); later on, Paul sent him to Corinth to provide additional teaching and guidance regarding the matters dealt with in 1 Corinthians (1 Corinthians 4:17); he was left to guide the church in Ephesus when Paul had to move on to Macedonia (1 Timothy 1:3). Timothy was not merely a channel for communicating Paul’s instructions and teachings to the churches; he was a minister of the gospel (although not an apostle) just as Paul was. To the Corinthians Paul says that [Timothy] is carrying on the work of the Lord, just as I am (1 Corinthians 16:10), and to the Thessalonians that he is God’s fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ (1 Thessalonians 3:2); in Philippians 2:20 Paul states that he has no one else like Timothy.