[reaction to OYB’s Oct. 18-21 readings]
Today’s readings in Timothy remind me of something important, Paul was doing something different from Jesus. I don’t mean adverse to, I just mean different from. In 1 Timothy 3:1-13, we learn about how “overseers,” bishops maybe, and deacons are supposed to behave and who is qualified to hold such offices. Similarly, in chapter 5, verses 17-20, we learn about how to treat church elders. Link. Jesus doesn’t talk about church structure at all. He had no interest in it.
Another difference is that today’s scripture has Paul’s famous suggestion that Timothy “[s]top drinking only water, and use a little wine because of [his] stomach and [his] frequent illnesses.” 1 Tim. 5:23. What is interesting about this to me is that Paul railed against drunkenness all the time. Self-control is a MAJOR component to Paul’s gospel. But unlike Jesus–who was always saying stuff like, it’s not enough to not commit adultry, don’t even look at another man’s wife; it’s not enough to love your neighbor, love your enemy; let the dead bury the dead; and what not–Paul is clearly pragmatic in his approach.
More on wine, is this interesting tale from Jeremiah about a group of people who were rewarded for being faithful not to God, but to their forefathers in abstaining from drink.