Eunice - A Mother on a Mission
Our story today focuses on a Jewish woman from the city of Lystra named Eunice. We’re not told anything about Eunice’s father, but we are told that she had married a man who was a Greek. One can only assume that he was not particularly sympathetic to the Jewish faith because, when they had a son, the decision was made not to have him circumcised. Eunice was undoubtedly faced with a challenge: raising young Timothy in the faith of Jehovah God without the full support of his father.
Fortunately for Eunice, she had her mother to help. 2 Timothy 3:14-15 tells us that Timothy had known the sacred writings from childhood, and he definitely didn’t learn them from his Greek father! Somehow his mother and his grandmother had made sure that he learned the Jewish Scriptures, either through home study, in the synagogue or at the feet of someone knowledgeable.
At some point in time, Eunice and Lois and Timothy learned of Jesus’ death on a Roman cross that paid the price to redeem them from sin and His subsequent resurrection from the dead. With a solid understanding of the Law and the Prophets, it was easy to see that Jesus of Nazareth was the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies and the three of them became His disciples. By the time the apostle Paul met Timothy in Lystra on his second preaching trip (Acts 16:1-3), Timothy was already a Christian. Paul was so impressed with the character of Timothy, he invited him to accompany him on the rest of his journey and they became life-long friends and coworkers in the kingdom of Christ.
Three generations of character. Paul grew to love Timothy as the son he never had. When you read through the book of Acts, Paul’s epistles and the two letters he wrote to Timothy himself, the young man’s character comes shining through. 2 Timothy 1:5 makes it clear that Timothy’s exemplary character was no accident. He told Timothy, “For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.” Paul drew the connection. Timothy owed a great debt of gratitude to the important women in his life and their unwavering devotion to his spiritual wellbeing.
God created mothers with an innate love for their children that is an unfathomable force. They make incredible sacrifices in what they believe to be in the best interests of their children. Young people develop intellectually, physically, spiritually and socially and mothers play such a crucial role in guiding their children through the challenging process of growing into well-balanced young adults. There are many Eunices and Loises among us and they deserve our utmost honor and respect all year long.