Eunice

13 May 2018 AM – 2Timothy 3:15 – Mother’s Day – Scott Childs

Introduction: Mothers have a great influence on their children. Timothy was blessed with a godly mother. Though our text is written to Timothy, it points us back to the actions of his mother Eunice (Euniké).

Transition: This verse identifies three of Eunice’s actions that every mum ought to take.

1.        Eunice Knew the Holy Scriptures
a.         She was a Jewess
1)         Paul introduces us to Eunice in (Acts 16:1) “Then came he [Paul] to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:”
2)         She was a Jewess (i.e., born of Jewish blood).
3)         She was a believer in Christ. Turn back to (2 Timothy 1:5) “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.”
a)         Was she an O.T. saint whose faith was in God? Or had she placed her faith in Christ? We cannot say for sure, but consider this theory.
(1)      Christ ascended to heaven in about AD 30. Eunice could have been saved at Pentecost shortly after Christ’s ascension. Timothy could have been born shortly after that in AD 31-32.
(2)      Paul’s first missionary trip was about AD 45-49. Timothy may have been saved in AD 45-46.
(3)      Paul’s second missionary trip was about AD 51-54. Timothy joined Paul about AD 51-52.
b)         We know not whether Eunice was saved before she heard Paul preach. We do know that she was a woman of unfeigned (i.e., sincere) faith in God.
4)         She was married to a Greek. (Acts 14:1) “And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.”  Iconium was a neighbouring town to Timothy’s hometown of Lystra. It is possible that his father became a believer, but it looks unlikely. This placed an even greater spiritual responsibility on Eunice.
b.         She knew the scriptures well.
1)         Being a Jewess, she had learned the holy Scriptures from a child herself.
2)         Eunice’s mother Lois also had faith in God (2Ti 1:5). As a pious Jewess, she had taught Eunice the holy Scriptures.
3)         Because Timothy had learned the holy Scriptures from a child, and since his father was a Greek, and they did not live in Israel, we know that his mother was largely responsible for his spiritual education. She could not teach Timothy the Scriptures if she did not know them well herself.
O  Mums, without question, the most important thing you can do for your children is to have personal faith in Jesus Christ yourself. Then, learn the scriptures well. Like Eunice, you must know more than the basic children’s Bible stories. Study carefully Bible doctrine and memorise key verses.

2.        Eunice Taught the Holy Scriptures
a.         Timothy learned Scriptures from a child
1)         The word translated “child” refers to an infant. In fact the word described John the Baptist when he was in his mother’s womb (Lu 1:41, 44). It described newborn Jesus in the manger (Lu 2:12, 16). Peter used it for newborn babes (1Pe 2:2).
2)         I believe Eunice introduced Timothy to the Scriptures even before he was born. During her pregnancy she likely heard, read and quoted the Scriptures.
3)         From the time he was a newborn, she taught him the holy Scriptures. Albert Barnes states, “The mother of Timothy was a pious Hebrewess, and regarded it as one of the duties of her religion to train her son in the careful knowledge of the word of God.”
b.         We note that she taught him the “holy” Scriptures.
1)         This word “holy” comes from a word that is found only twice in the Bible. It literally means sacred or pertaining to God.
2)         Since the New Testament had not yet been written, the only Scriptures she had were those of the Old Testament. Vincent says this referred to sacred learning. He says that they learned to search the Scriptures for messianic intimations. These were Scriptures that pointed to the coming Messiah.
3)         Sadly, many Christians today seldom study the Old Testament Scriptures. Oh, the Sunday school stories are known, but little else.
4)         God charged the Jewish people to teach their children the Scriptures carefully. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9) “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.”
O  Mums, typically, you have more time with your children than your husbands does. Teach them God’s Word. Do not rely on others to teach your children the Scriptures. Systematically teach the Word. Memorise it together. Review it often. Discuss it with them. Most of all live it before them. If you neglect to study, live and love the Bible, your children will also neglect it.

3.        Eunice Applied the Holy Scriptures
a.         The Bible makes us wise
1)         The holy Scriptures that Timothy learned from infancy were powerful.
2)         The word “able” comes from the Greek word dunamai from which we get words like dynamite. The Bible has mighty power to make a person wise.
3)         Remember, wisdom is the God-given ability to make right choices.
4)         Paul said that the Old Testament holy Scriptures that Eunice taught Timothy were mightily powerful to make him wise unto salvation. (Romans 3:20) “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Galatians 3:24) “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”
5)         The Old Testament Scriptures identify man’s sin, his need for a Saviour, and point the sinner to the coming Messiah – Jesus Christ. Eunice applied this to her own heart by trusting Christ and then encouraged Timothy.
b.         The Bible also builds faith
1)         Salvation is only through faith which is in Christ Jesus. Christ (i.e., Messiah) Jesus is the only one who can save a person from sin’s deserved payment in hell.
2)         Hearing the Word of God from infancy built faith in Timothy’s heart. (Romans 10:17) “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
3)         By knowing the sacred Scriptures well, when Timothy heard the Gospel through Paul’s preaching, his heart was already prepared to receive it. Timothy then placed his faith in Christ Jesus.
4)         The better a child learns the sacred Scripture the more of God’s wisdom he receives, the better he will know the holy character of God, his own sinfulness and guilt, and be prepared to place his faith in Christ Jesus for salvation.
O  Mums, you have a great influence on your children’s eternal destiny. As you teach them to apply the Bible to their daily lives, it will give them wisdom that will point them to their need of Christ. Once they trust Christ to save them, don’t stop there. Make the Bible real to them. Live it before them. Allow God to use it to build their faith.

Conclusion: Eunice knew the Scriptures well. She thoroughly taught Timothy the Scriptures from infancy. She applied the Scriptures to her own life and set an example for Timothy to do the same. Mum, does Eunice’s example describe you? If not, what do you need to change? Do you need Christ as your personal Saviour? Do you need to know the Scriptures better? Do you need to pour the Scriptures into the hearts of your children? If changes are needed, begin today!

Song: Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord – 337