I earlier stated that Paul is the author of the letter to Philemon. This is correct, but not exclusively so. Timothy is also listed in the opening credits. While we don’t know Timothy’s degree of involvement, the letter does state that it is from Paul and Timothy.
This isn’t an isolated occurrence either. Check out the opening verse in 2 Corinthians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and 2 Thessalonians, as well as Philemon. In each case, Timothy is listed as a partner in the correspondence. We don’t know if he was a co-author, a collaborator, or played some other role, but it is clear the letter is also from him.
There are many other references to Timothy in the Bible, including in two letters from Paul to him. From these we develop a composite picture of Timothy as a disciple, a helper, a co-worker, Paul’s son in the faith, a brother, and a servant. We also know that he told others about Jesus and was thrown in jail as a result.
Paul goes on to affirm that Timothy “proved himself.” While Timothy didn’t need to earn his salvation or do something to garner God’s attention or favor, it is noteworthy that he proved himself in the work he was called to do.
Our challenge as we follow Jesus is to likewise prove ourselves as worthy.