Read Acts 16:1 – 5
“Paul desired Timothy to go with him (as a missionary); and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews that were in those places, all of whom knew that his father was a Greek.”
In Acts 11, the issue of circumcision had been dealt with. Because of Peter’s words, those taking exception to the uncircumcised were silenced and they had stopped objecting (Acts 11:18). The issue had been corporately resolved. Timothy, whose father was Greek was not circumcised.
It would appear that Paul wanted to increase Timothy’s credibility with the Jews and so he had him circumcised. Timothy was known to be young, but he had to be more than a child and probably there wasn’t a lot along the lines of anesthetic. Circumcision sounds painful to me. What lengths to go to in order to win rapport with a group of people!
Has God ever asked something like that of you? It seems that as leaders, we are required to live by a tougher standard than others (James 3:1 – 2).
How are you with that? Are there times when others legitimately complain against someone or something and God expects you to walk a higher road? Is God asking you to concede a difficult point or endure an unfair circumstance for the sake of the gospel? Paul would tell us to ‘count it all joy’ and get on with the task of building the Kingdom of God no matter the cost.
What about you? Do you feel like quitting? Is it too much? The result for Paul and Timothy was fruit – the church was strengthened and it increased. It is so worth it.
What do you need today to make the sacrifice that God is asking of you? How can we encourage you?