Lois is the first of three generations of unlikely believers. Paul acknowledged her important role – as well as her daughter, Eunice – in a letter to a young man he was discipling. His name was Timothy. And he was Lois’ grandson… Eunice’s son.
Paul first arrived in Lystra, Lois’ hometown, during his 1st Missionary Journey. While there, Paul healed a young man who had been unable to walk since birth. In doing so, he was mistaken by many in the town as being the incarnation of the Greek god, Hermes. Eventually, through a strange set of circumstances, Paul was stoned by an angry mob… and left for dead. Apparently, the visit wasn’t a total loss, though. By the time Paul arrived on his 2nd Missionary Journey, Paul found at least 3 believers: Timothy, his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois.
Little is known about Lois, the family matriarch. Her daughter, Eunice, had married a Greek Gentile, which probably generated family friction… within their own family, and with the Jewish community in Lystra (mixed marriages were harshly condemned by most groups).
In any case, Lois’ grandson… Eunice’s son… Timothy, was a paradox. He had been taught the Old Testament from a young age, no doubt taught by Lois & Eunice. Yet, he had never been circumcised, probably due to the influence of his Greek father. In the end, it was the ladies’ influence that prevailed… leaving a lasting mark on Timothy. Paul, impressed by Timothy’s devotion to Christ, became his mentor and eventually made him pastor of the church at Ephesus.
Lois & Eunice serve as a reminder that it is not necessary to play a starring role in order to be a star.
They are mentioned so briefly in the Bible, yet they were vital in shaping the character and convictions of one of the early church’s most influential young pastors.
Those who serve God behind the scenes play no less an important role than those who serve for all to see.
Don’t hide your light… even at home: our families are fertile fields for receiving gospel seeds. It may be the most difficult land to work, but it yields precious harvests. Let your parents, children, spouse, brothers and sisters know of your faith in Jesus. And be sure they see Christ’s love, helpfulness, and joy in you.
* If your own family can’t see your faith, is it real?
You can read the story of Lois & Eunice in 2Timothy 1:5.