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1 Corinthians 16:10-12

The Young Preacher

10 Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do. 11 Let no man therefore despise him: but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come unto me: for I look for him with the brethren. 12 As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.


Paul had sent Timothy to Corinth (1 Corinthians 4:17), but it was not certain that he would get there. In fact, there is no record of him having arrived. In the second epistle, there are numerous references to Titus' mission to Corinth, but not a word about Timothy. Timothy and Erastus were sent into Macedonia ahead of Paul and were then to go to Corinth. It is not known what might have kept him from finishing his assignment.

The Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges comments on this verse concerning Timothy, "For (1) we find that he was young (1Ti 4:12) and (2) deficient, apparently, in courage or energy, or both (1Ti 5:21-23; 2Ti 1:6-8; 2Ti 2:1; 2Ti 2:3; 2Ti 2:15; 2Ti 4:1-2). It has been thought from some of these expressions that he was even culpably timid. If this were the case, how much more must the injunction in the text have been needed (1) when Timothy was about ten years younger than when he received St Paul’s Epistles, and (2) in the then state of the Corinthian Church?" It is no wonder, then, that Paul would ask the church to receive him cordially and not cause him to be afraid of the troublemakers who were in the church at the time.

"...for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do." There are different methods of preaching, different ministry styles, different personalities among preachers and evangelists, but there is only one true purpose... to do the work of the Lord. Paul was a bold and courageous speaker who was able to handle any opposition to the gospel. If Timothy was as shy as he appears to have been, it would be natural for those who had followed Paul to hold him in low esteem and to intimidate him. Paul reminded them that Timothy worked for the same Lord doing the same work as he did.

"Let no man therefore despise him: but conduct him forth in peace," No would should look down on Timothy because of his age or his shyness. Ten years later this was still one of Timothy's weaknesses, and Paul wrote to him saying, "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12)

Sone of the Corinthians were to accompany Timothy when he returned to Paul along with the others whom Paul had sent so that he might travel in safely and in peace. The other brethren to whom Paul referred might have included Erastus and Titus. The last verse concerning Apollos is self explanatory.

This passage has an important application for the church today. There has been a flood of enthusiastic, Spirit filled, young pastors coming out of our seminaries. Many have been called to serve in churches that had become stagnant and unfruitful. Their preaching is bold and there methods of leadership are biblical, although new to the unfruitful church. But there are a;ways those within the church who resist the necessary changes, who despise the youth of the new pastor, and who attempt to intimidate him or even to rule over him. These churches would do well to read Paul's instructions to the Corinthians.

Before The Throne:

Pray for your pastor. Ask God to help him gain the respect of those whom he must lead, regardless of his age. If your pastor is having to endure an onslaught of opposition, pray that God would give him some relief. Pray for the young pastors in your area. Ask God to protect their ministry and to not allow them to become discouraged.

For Further Study:

(v.10)
** if. 1Cor 4:17; Acts 19:22; ** without. 1Cor 16:11; 1Thess 4:12; ** for. 1Cor 15:58; Rom 16:21; 2Cor 6:1; Phil 2:19-22; 1Thess 3:2;

(v.11) ** no. Luke 10:16; 1Thess 4:8; 1Tim 4:12; Titus 2:15; but. 1Cor 16:6; Acts 15:33; 3John 1:6;

(v.12) ** our. 1Cor 1:12; 1Cor 3:5, 22; Acts 18:24-28; Acts 19:1; Titus 3:4; ** when. Eccl 3:1; Mark 6:21; Acts 24:25;

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