Why does Paul spend so much time on widows? In a letter with 113 verses, 16 of them (more than 10% of the letter) are dedicated to widows. Does Paul have a special ministry project for these women? Or is there something more central to the gospel here?
On Sunday, I answered those questions and attempted to show why care for these widows was so important to Paul. In particular, we saw how Paul’s discussion about widows is deeply connected to his concern for the gospel in Ephesus. Also, we saw how Paul’s gospel-centeredness teaches us to assess many matters in church and life today.
You can listen to the sermon online. Response questions are below, as are a couple important resources to seeing how the letter of 1 Timothy helps us understand these challenging verses.
Soli Deo Gloria, ds
- First Timothy 5:9–16 puts our eyes on the needs of women and widows, but what does this passage teach you about God?
- Why does keeping the character of God and the perfections of Christ matter for understanding this passage? Why does God care so much about families?
- What was the problem with widows in Ephesus? How does knowing this history inform our reading of this passage?
- What is the church’s role in caring for widows? What does “enroll” probably mean? How has it been interpreted in history?
- How does knowing some historical interpretations help us?
- What do we learn about Satan? How does that apply to our lives, families, and church?
- What do these verses teach you about your family? Are there any action steps to take this week? This year?
- “‘Saying What They Should Not Say’: Reassessing the Gravity of the Problem of the Younger Widows (1 Timothy 5:11–15) by Dillon Thornton (ETS Article)
- Read Scripture: 1 Timothy by The Bible Project