10 And if Timothy comes, see that he may be with you without fear; for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do. 11 Therefore let no one despise him. But send him on his journey in peace, that he may come to me; for I am waiting for him with the brethren.
And if Timothy comes,
Paul sent Timothy to Corinth (1 Co 4:17). He calls Timothy “my beloved son,” so Paul led Timothy to Christ; Timothy was his son in the faith. He became the vest-pocket edition of the apostle Paul. Timothy, Titus, and Erastus may have carried First Corinthians to Corinth from Ephesus (Ac 19:22). Paul wrote two letters to Timothy as a pastor (1 & 2 Timothy) toward the end of Paul’s life.
see that he may be with you without fear;
The Corinthian church was an ornery church and Timothy was something of a tentative soul. This may have been due to his youth (1 Ti 4:12). Timothy was yet much younger at this point than when Paul wrote his last epistles of First and Second Timothy, in which Paul described him as a “youth.” Timothy may just have been timid and not confident about his leadership. Paul challenges the Corinthian church to take it easy on Paul’s emissary Timothy and not to intimidate him, for those in the Corinthian church were fighting and suing each other. The fear of man undermines leadership. Paul warned Timothy about the spirit of fear in Second Timothy,
2 Ti 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Pr 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.
for he does the work of the Lord,
The reason the Corinthians were to respect Timothy was that “he does the work of the Lord.” Paul says in effect, “Respect his ministry.” The phrase “work of the Lord” occurred in 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” God has an assignment for every believer in His work. All we can do is do what we can with what we have. Timothy was a co-worker with Paul and was not afraid of work.
Ro 16:21 Timothy, my fellow worker, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my countrymen, greet you.
as I also do.
Timothy was the vest-pocket edition of the mighty apostle Paul. He was in the same ministry as Paul. Paul says in effect, “If you give him the opportunity, he will do the same ministry as I do.”
Therefore let no one despise him.
The Corinthian church may have been tempted to disrespect Timothy for his youth, “He is just a squirt. What does he know?” They were not to let anyone else despise him either.
But send him on his journey in peace, that he may come to me;
Note that not only does Paul suggest that the Corinthian church respect Timothy, but he also suggests that they support him financially.
for I am waiting for him with the brethren.
Paul anticipates Timothy coming back to him with other associates such as Titus and Erastus to be briefed about the situation at Corinth.
Respect for the office of ministry is fundamental to a successful church.
It is important to respect the person who holds an office in the church. That respect is not for his sake but for the sake of the ministry.
1 Th 5: 12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
He 13: 7 Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.