Recently the Kentucky Derby took place, and I am always impressed by the beauty and power of those thoroughbreds as they race. The grace of movement and the inevitable marks in the dirt left by the hooves of the horses is a site to behold. The hoof prints of the horses clearly show the path they had taken.
Paul says something interesting in 2 Timothy 1:13 which reminded me of those horses when he said,
“Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus.”
What struck me is the meaning of the word “pattern.” Wuest explains the significance of this word when he states that it,
“Means “a blow”; it was used of the beat of horses’ hoofs; it meant the impression left by a seal, the effect of a blow or pressure, an engraved mark, a pattern, a model. The word thus speaks of a pattern by which one can maintain the sameness of a thing. Paul exhorts Timothy to hold fast the pattern of the sound words committed to him.”
Paul had left a clear mark, pattern and model for Timothy to follow through his teaching. But it is also important to note that this pattern like the path of a horses hoof prints is shaped by the faith and love we have in Jesus Christ. Our faith is not a burden or legalism. It is a life of following the Master who loves us. It is a faith based upon a personal and loving relationship with Jesus.
Another thing that stood out to me is that Paul tells Timothy the model or pattern of his teaching is “wholesome.” The word means “healthy.” All other models of following Jesus are unhealthy if they do not match the model that Paul left.
Father, I want to thank you for the clear pattern and model of faith that Paul has laid out for us through the inspiration of your Spirit. This mark that I am to follow is healthy and based upon a love relationship with Jesus. May you enable me to follow this pattern and express love as Jesus expects. This is the way you designed the Faith to be lived, and it is healthy for me!
Following Jesus with you,