The Older and
the Younger (5:1-2)
man…as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women
as sisters, with all purity, widows, command, this is good and acceptable
before God, good work, elders, double honor, sinning/sins, without prejudice,
doing nothing with partiality, bondservants, teach.
1a. Exhort older
men as fathers, older women as mothers, younger men as brothers, younger women
instructions teach us to regard all believers like members of our own family,
treating the elders with respect and the younger with love out of a pure heart
instructions in this paragraph pertain to the church’s responsibility of
providing for the widows. It appears that some widows and families have abused
the church’s practice of giving support to widows. Certain families who are
capable of supporting their widow may have refused to do so but expect the
church to provide the support (8,16). Some young
widows, relying on the church’s generous support, may have forsaken their vow
to Christ and become idle gossips and busybodies (11-13).
2b. Paul makes a
clear distinction between widows “who are really widows” (3) and the other
widows. True widows are to be honored (3) and provided for by the church (cf.
Jas 1:27). Widows with children or grandchildren ought to be provided for by
their families (5:4, 8). Young widows and widows who live in pleasure do not qualify
for church support.
Identifying who are eligible for support
allows the church to support true widows who have a genuine need. It also
ensures that those who are not true widows would not become a burden to the
3a. 1.Those who are left alone, that is, with
no one to rely on, no children or grandchildren (5).
2.`Those who trust in God and continue
in supplications and prayers night and day instead of living a life of
indulgence and pleasure (5-6)
3. Those above sixty years old and who
had been the wife of one man (9)
4. Those well respected for good
works, that is, if they have brought up children, lodged strangers, washed the
feet of saints, relieved the afflicted, and diligently followed every good work
3b. Anna the
prophetess (Lk 2:36-38). She did not depart from the
temple and served God with fasting and prayer night and day.
4a. She is dead while she lives. In other words, she has lost
her fervor to serve the Lord and has become useless in God’s eyes (cf. Rev
4b. Some of them hade made a commitment to remain single and
devote their lives to Christ but would later change their minds and desired to
marry. Some learned to be idle, wandering from house to house as busybodies and
gossips (11-13). Worse still, some had already turned aside after Satan (15).
falling into such decadence, young widows are encouraged to marry, bear
children, and manage the house so as to not give opportunity to the adversary
to speak reproachfully.
5. They have
denied the faith and are worse than unbelievers (8).
6. 1. Whenever possible, the family of the
needy ought to provide for them. If they do not have families or if their
families are unable to provide for them, then the church may take up the
2. The church should take into
consideration whether the needy have godly conduct and refuse those who would
become idle and indulgent as a result of the church’s support.
7. Those who rule
well, especially those who labor in word and doctrine (17). In other words,
they administer the church well and teach and uphold the truth (cf. 3:2,9). “Double honor” may possibly mean giving ample living
allowance as well as paying the highest respect.
8. This verse
teaches that we must render to others what is due them. That is, a laborer is
worthy of his wages, just as an ox needs to eat while working (treading the
grain). In the same way, good elders who serve diligently are worthy of double
honor. If they serve on a full-time basis, the church ought to provide for
their livelihood. This principle is also applicable to all full-time workers
who have dedicated their time to serve God. They are also worthy of honor and
living allowance rendered by the church.
9. Only if there
are two or three witnesses can an accusation be brought against an elder (19).
Following this guideline would minimize false accusations and defamatory
charges against elders.
10. They are to
be rebuked in the presence of all (20). This serves to warn those who are
sinning and teaches others not to fall to sin.
11. Timothy needs
to fulfill his duties without prejudice or partiality (21). This is an
important reminder because it is easy to make unfair judgments based on
personal preference and prejudice. In caring for the flock of God, we have to
ensure fairness and consistency, just as God Himself is without partiality (Rom
12a. Paul reminds
Timothy not to lay hands on anyone hastily (5:22). “Laying
on of hands” may mean either ordination or blessing in prayer. Before selecting
a church worker or vindicating the accused, we must thoroughly examine the
person in question, lest we share the sins of someone who is guilty.
12b. It is not wise to make hasty judgments because doing so may
result in mistakes. When the sins or the good works of a person are not
immediately evident, it may take time for the truth to be revealed. Since the
works of a person, whether good or bad, cannot be hidden forever, it would be
prudent to handle such matters with patience and care while letting the truth
surface with time.
13. Honor them
(1). Serve them (2).