I Timothy 5

Ministers of Jesus Christ are reprovers by office, for they are not alone to preach the Word, but correct those who are inconsistent. A difference is to be made in the reproofs according to the age and circumstances of the persons rebuked. Let them know that they are accountable to God and the Lord Jesus Christ how they have observed the duties of their office, and woe to them if they have been partial in their ministrations.

1 Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;

2 The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.

3 Honour widows that are widows indeed.

4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.

5 Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.

6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.

7 And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless.

8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

9 Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man,

10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.

11 But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry;

12 Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.

13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

15 For some are already turned aside after Satan.

16 If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.

17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.

23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.

24 Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.

25 Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.

1 Timothy 5:1-8 – ​Wise Treatment of Young and Old.

   That minister of Jesus is happiest who introduces the tone and manner of family life into the church (v. 1-2). The attitude of son or brother to other men is peculiarly fitting. But he must always keep up the spiritual tone. It is so easy to descend to frivolity and familiarity. Remember that all intercourse with others must be governed by the words – with all purity.
   The special references to widows evidence the early practice of the Church. Provision was made for godly women who had lost husbands by death, and who in return for the weekly gift from church funds, gave themselves to Christian service. The Apostle indicates the age and characteristics of those who might be eligible. It was his clear judgment, however, that, wherever possible, it was becoming for children to make such provision as would place an aged mother or other relative beyond the reach of want or any need of claiming maintenance from church funds. Our nurses and deaconesses are the modern counterparts of the order of widows in the early Church; yet the standard of Christian living here emphasized may well be pondered and prayed over by all Christian women, who should, as far as possible without fee or reward, consider church service only second to the claims of home. (Meyer)

I Timothy 5:5—She that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God.

​   Art thou desolate indeed, because the light of thine eyes has passed from view, leaving thee im measurably lonely? Dear soul, do not look down into the grave which has received the precious mortal frame, but up into the face of God.
   He lent thee thy beloved. From the tune of the first knitting of soul with soul he was but a loan for a specified time; and wouldst thou not rather have had him for so short a time than not at all? Wouldst thou not have said, had God asked thee, “I would rather have a year or a month of such love as his than none?” Do not be angry because God has done as He always intended.
   Besides, that beloved one is still thine. Thy love so entered into his heart that it could not be eradicated, though ages should pass. Do not suppose that death is so mighty a magician as to alter the very nature of those who pass for a moment beneath his wand.
   And God will care for thee. Trust Him for society, that thou be not lonely; for the provision of what is necessary to thy support; and for the protecting love which thy shrinking nature calls for. Thy Maker will be thy husband.
   Wouldst thou be comforted, continue in prayers and supplications for others night and day. Cease to shut thyself up with thy sorrow, and go out to minister comfort to those who sorrow as without hope. A Hindoo story tells of a bereaved mother, who was advised to obtain a handful of corn from a house where there was no trouble, and was so occupied in seeking it, and in comforting the inmates of the various homes she visited, that her own grief was assuaged. (Meyer)

1 Timothy 5:9-16 – ​Home-Keeping Industry Enjoined.

   The sphere of the younger woman must be in the home. This is the noblest work of all, and wherever it exists, it has the prior claim; yet even during the years of early motherhood there may still be opportunities of offering hospitality to strangers, ministering to the children of God who need refreshment and comfort, and diligently assisting in good work. These offices lovingly and humbly performed, will serve as a gracious opening for further ministries of the same description in the later period of life.
   The Apostle says nothing about remarriage in general, but simply refers to the fact that young women who have become widows are likely to accept the offer of a second marriage, and so abjure that first faith, in which they had pledged themselves to the service of the church. Unless there is great watchfulness, the practice of going from house to house, ostensibly on church business, may degenerate into gossip-mongering. Therefore it was wiser not to put young women on the church service roll. If they did not marry a second time, they might at least work for the maintenance of others, widows like themselves, but less able to help themselves. There must be no idling.

1 Timothy 5:17-25 – ​Impartial and Kindly Supervision.

   A man of years was always to be honored, and if he were called to rule in the church, he was to be treated with double honor; but none should be appointed to that sacred office hastily or with partiality. Purity, gravity, and abstinence from alcohol were prime requisites in a Christian minister then, as they are now. It is clear from v. 23 that the Apostles and their helpers practiced total abstinence, or there had been no need for that special injunction to Timothy.
   It is clear also from vs. 17-18 that the early Church was encouraged to support its ministers. The Apostle quotes the words of our Lord, to maintain this contention (Matthew 10:10; Luke 10:7). The character of a minister might not be lightly aspersed. If anything had to be said, the informant must lodge his complaint in the presence of witnesses, who could be witnesses against him, if the charge were found to be baseless and frivolous. But public wrongs must be met by public rebuke, that any suspicion of favoritism might be disarmed. No man, however, should be called to the sacred and responsible position of presbyter, unless he had been tested and approved. In forming judgments of the fitness of men for office, we must not judge wholly by appearance – good or bad (vs. 24-25).