1 Tim 5:22
Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.
2 John 1:11
Whoever greets such a person shares in his evil deeds
Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.
a. Lay hands on anyone: This is used in the sense of ordination. Paul cautioned Timothy to let a man prove himself before he was recognized in ministry. There should not be a rush; time must season a man and his ministry.
i. Some think the admonition do not lay hands on anyone hastily has to do with receiving repentant people back into the fellowship of the church. It seems that in some early church circles, those who had fallen into scandalous sin had to be received back into the church with the laying on of hands and prayer by church leaders. If so, Paul meant, “Don’t go too fast. Let them demonstrate their repentance first.”
b. Lay hands on: Since ordination simply recognizes God’s calling, it is all the more reason to not be in a hurry – time should be given to allow those gifts and callings to demonstrate themselves.
i. It isn’t uncommon for a young man in the ministry to be a bit impatient; he wants to do great things for the Lord and is anxious for pastors and elders to lay hands on them in recognition of God’s work in them.
ii. Yet, there is danger if anyone waits to give themselves fully to serving the Lord until they are recognized with a title or the laying on of hands. This means they are more concerned with image (how it appears to others) than with substance (what they can really be doing for the Lord right now).
c. Keep yourself pure: This connects to an important idea. If Timothy was called to observe and assess the lives of others, it was important that he pay even more attention to his own life.
i. “The intention of the warning would be that Timothy would best avoid clerical scandals by being cautious at the outset as to the character of those whom he ordains.” (White)
ii. Nor share in other people’s sins: We all have enough sin of our own; we do not need to add to it by partaking in the sins of others. There are many ways we can do this.
· We can share in the sins of others by setting a bad example before them.
· We can share in the sins of others by approving of them or ignoring them.
· We can share in the sins of others by joining a church that spreads dangerous teachings.