Friday, April 5, 2013

E is for Eunice mother of Timothy


A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Lois, Eunice & Timothy by Margot 
2 Timothy 1:5 (NKJV)
"When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also."

This is the only verse we have mentioning Eunice by name. Grandmother Lois is mentioned first, so she is seen as the most influential of those mentioned. It is very unusual for women in the bible to be mentioned without the name of a husband or father. It is mentioned later in Acts 16:1-3 that Timothy's father was a Greek.

Eunice is a Greek name. The bible says of Timothy's mother in Acts 16 that she was a Jewish woman who believed. There were Jews living in the area, Lois may have been part of the lost tribes scattered among the nations. While they maintained some of the Jewish practices they may have softened on the idea of marrying non Jews. 

In Acts 14 we hear about Pauls earlier visit to Lystra. He heals a crippled man and the people think they are the gods come to walk among them in human form. There were Jews living in the area and it is likely that Lois became a believer at this time and passed not only her knowledge of the Jewish scripture but also her belief in Christ on to her daughter Eunice and her grandson Timothy who become Paul's companion in ministry. Paul goes so far as to call Timothy his spiritual son and was very active in teaching and training him up to be a leader in the church. 

Encyclopedia of the Bible "Regarding Lystra’s inhabitants, first, the Rom. element was a small group of the local aristocracy of soldiers. They were the ruling class. Second, there were the Gr.-educated residents who were called the Hellenes. The Hellenes were not a racial group but an educated and generally well-to-do segment of the population. Timothy, whose father was a Hellene and his mother a Jewess (Acts 16:1), prob. belonged to the educated and upper income bracket. Finally, the majority of the population was made up of the uneducated Lycaonians who were a small Anatolian tribe."

I think what is important to note is that Timothy, lived in a non Jewish, very pagan area as well as his father is an educated Greek. He has not been circumcised probably because of his Greek fathers views. See Acts 16:3 "3 Paul wanted to have him go on with him. And he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in that region, for they all knew that his father was Greek." While circumcision in not required of believers, Paul must have felt that it would make the Jews they were trying to reach more receptive to Timothy as they worked together.

His mother and grandmother must have been very strong and faithful women to have trained him in the faith to the point that on a later visit to the area Paul hears of this this young man. He is well thought of and has been trained from childhood in the knowledge of the Scriptures. This speaks loudly to the Godly influence that mothers and grandmothers can have in the lives of children even though surrounded by a other unbelieving family and living in a pagan culture. 

Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Eunice's names means happily conquering. Evidently the name Lois is not a Greek, but may have been a bit of creative Hebrew. It may have even been as this commentator says the invention of Paul in speaking to a faithful widow. "(Lo-Ammi, meaning Not My People), and a creative mind may have invented the name Lo-Ish, Lo-Ish, meaning Without Husband. This invented name may have been readily applied to some old spinster or someone who remained unmarried for religious reasons, but also to someone who had become pregnant without being married. It may be a coincidence but Timothy's maternal grandfather remains unmentioned in Scripture. Perhaps Paul invented the name Lois to make a playful and consolatory point that's not at all unlike his theology. But perhaps not."

In any case no husband is mentioned in conjunction with Lois so she was quite likely a widow who was cared for by Timothy's family. What ever the case these women were victorious in fulfilling Deuteronomy 6:5-7

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. … You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” 

What are you passing on to the next generation of believers?

These faithful women raised up a strong man of God. The letters written to him by Paul give us a lot of instruction in faithful living and as well as for wise leadership in the church. Interestingly there is a wonderful passage about how widows were to be treated that may have been based upon how Paul saw the faithful widow, Lois being treated by her daughter and grandson in Timothy 5.  


12 comments:

  1. Inspiring. As a grandmother myself, it gives me no greater joy than to see my children and grandchildren walking in the truth of God's Word. Blessings!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Luana. I don't have grandchildren yet but am thankful for my parents who have both been a great encouragement to my children.

      Have a great A-Z
      Margot

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  2. Hi! I'm a Ninja Minion checking in. Are you enjoying the challenge?

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    1. Hi Ciara,
      So far it is going pretty well. I am doing this blog as we go along each day. My other blog Spark My Creativity I set up to auto post for the month.

      Have a great A-Z
      Margot

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  3. I love the influence of Lois and Eunice had on Timothy and the example we have from them for our own children and grandchildren. How we act and what we say are important. Thanks for the reminder of these two faithful women.

    Grace,
    Donna
    www.fullmeasureofjoy.com

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    1. You are right that how we act and what we say is important in regards to children and grandchildren. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Blessings, Margot

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  4. I'm always amazed by the way things that happened in Biblical times apply to us today. Lois and Eunice should encourage all of us to pass on our faith to the next generation.

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  5. And I"m signing up to get all of these posts! :-)

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    1. Awesome - so glad you like them.

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  6. Lovely, and thanks for sharing.

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  7. Have also appreciated the story of this threesome and the example they set. Complements on the painting--very nice!

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