Paul’s Advise to Timothy and All followers of Christ
“Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, young men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, young women as sisters, with all purity” I Timothy 5:1,2.
Jesus in His sermon on the mount said, “You have heard that it was said, you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you and do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your father in heaven for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the on the unjust.” Matthew 5:43-45
So, what is Paul telling Timothy and what is Christ saying to his disciples upon the grassy slopes of the mountain? Paul is telling the young Timothy that there must be no evidence of discourtesy on the part of Christians toward any group, especially by those who are young toward those who are older. As an example for all church members to follow, Timothy is here reminded of the many practical occasions that test the genuineness of a man’s religious experience. The various groups here listed represent the many classes of people making up congregations. But it really goes beyond the local congregation and should be applied to the community where each follower of Christ resides.
Not everyone we meet as we walk through life is a Christian and therefore just because they do not believe in Christ is no reason to treat them any differently than Paul was admonishing Timothy to treat those within the local church. For some, there only opportunity to learn about Christ and His great love for them is in the way you treat them.
This is why Jesus in the sermon on the mount admonished His disciples to go the second mile, to love your enemies and to share all you have with those who despitefully use you.
Because both in the church and outside the doors of the church, this could be some ones only chance to see the Character of Christ shining out from your heart.
Therefore, “Blessed are the merciful, for They shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 5:7-10.
Paul was discipling Timothy as Jesus did His disciples and we should be discipling each other to follow this same practice within our own lives, of treating each other, weather young or old better than we would treat our own mother, father, brother and sister. For this is what a true disciple of Jesus should do, not for the promise of reward, but because they have loved the Father and our Father in heaven loves us.