History says, after Timon left Jerusalem, he traveled north to Bosra in southern Syria, where he preached and served as an elder. Tradition says Timon angered the pagan ruler of the city who had Timon thrown into a red-hot furnace where he died a martyr’s death.
Today Bosra is a major UNESCO World Heritage Site and was the scene of violent fighting during the Syrian civil war. The town is also important to Muslims. Bosra is a major stop for pilgrims making the annual hajj pilgrimage between Damascus and Mecca, and Medina. There is a shrine there honoring the mabrak annaqa (“camel’s knees”), “which marked the imprints of the camel the prophet Muhammad rode on when he entered Bosra in the early 7th-century.”
According to history, Timon’s ministry in Bosra resulted in the conversion of the city to Christianity until the Muslim invasion in the Fifth Century. Again, sadly, other than one verse in the book of Acts, we know precious little about this man of faith. From the holy text, though, we know Timon was a servant-leader. He was willing to “wait on tables” if that was what was needed. He was willing to care for the helpless widows – Greek and Aramaic-speaking. No job was insignificant!
Do you remember the story of Jesus washing the smelly feet of the apostles? At the conclusion, Jesus told the Twelve (and us):
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them (John 13:12 – 17).
Timon was just such a man.
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