Passing the Torch . . . to reliable others
The things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.
2 Timothy 2:2
Passing the torch on is critical to truth. Remember the best teacher you ever had, or the coach who inspired you to perform herculean feats of endurance. The mark of a good mentor is to generate excitement in the subject matter in reliable pupils who will pass on their enthusiasm in like manner. Your coach spurred you on to go “Faster, Higher, Stronger” (the Olympic motto). Your teacher piqued your curiosity to dig deeper and learn more. And lo and behold others caught your passion, wanting to get in on it too.
Clearly Paul has a passion for the gospel. He has spoken openly and often in the presence of many. He hones in singularly on Christ crucified (1 Corinthians 1:23); his focused purpose is to proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ (Colossians 1:28); his mini-gospel this: Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David (2 Timothy 2:8).
Reminds me of Billy Graham ladies. In the accolades to his life well-lived, he was likened as second only to the apostle Paul in reaching the world for Christ. He never wavered from the gospel, plain and simple—Christ crucified. And he certainly passed on the torch to his son Franklin, and to his daughter Anne Graham Lotz.
What happens when Timothy entrusts lessons from Paul to those who will continue to teach others, or when Franklin and Anne proclaim Jesus? Truth is perpetuated. This was not a new idea. In Paul’s Pharisaic days he would have recited the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) twice a day, and known the reason why (6:2): so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live.
Pass it on, pass it on, pass it on ladies. If you don’t pass on truth, it will be forgotten or drastically watered down—as it has been today.