Grades 3-6 Sunday School Lesson
New Testament Women of Faith
Eunice and Lois
Author’s Notes: This week we’ll be finishing our series on New Testament women of faith. And we’ll do so with a look at a mother-daughter team. Their names are Eunice and Lois; and they are the mother and grandmother of the apostle Paul’s friend, Timothy. Eunice and Lois are great examples to us of how our own words and actions touch others around us, just like when we drop a pebble in water, and see the ripples spread out in giant circles.
Coloring Page for Young Visitors
Have you ever dropped a rock in a puddle? What happens to the water? (If you can, bring a container of water and a pebble, or anything that will make ripples, and demonstrate to your students what happens when you drop something in water.) When you drop something in water, ripples form and keep spreading out farther and farther until they form wide circles that reach out to the very edge of the puddle.
Did you know that can happen in our lives, too? Each of us touches the lives of those around us, either in good ways or bad ways. In today’s lesson, we’re going to learn about two women, named Eunice and Lois, whose faith touched the lives of many people around them in wider circles than they probably could have ever imagined, beginning with their son and grandson, Timothy.
It was to Timothy that our memory verse for today was written. Let’s learn our verse, then find out where Timothy’s strong faith came from.
Memory verse: (Have the children repeat this verse with you several times, until they are able to say it themselves. And encourage them to repeat it to others several times during the week, so that it’ll have a place in their hearts.)
“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
1 Timothy 4:12
Opening prayer: Lord, thank You for each student who’s here, today. And thank You for Your Word, The Bible, where we can learn new truths about You, and Your plans for us. Help each one of us here, today, to be attentive to what You would have us learn. Give us open ears and hearts, ready to listen to Your words. Amen.
This Week’s Lesson: Eunice and Lois (1 & 2 Timothy, Revelation 2)
The apostle Paul had many men who were faithful friends, and some of them accompanied him on his missionary journeys. One of these friends was a young man named Timothy.
Paul thought a lot of Timothy, and considered him his “own son in the faith.” (1 Timothy 1:2) And though Timothy was only a young man at the time, Paul was so certain of Timothy’s strong faith in the Lord that he left Timothy to lead the church in Ephesus while he went on to visit other cities in Asia.
It must have been a great relief for Paul to know that he had someone he could trust watching over the believers in Ephesus. That allowed Paul to continue on his missionary journeys where he ministered to many, spreading the Gospel throughout Asia Minor. So even though Timothy was not visiting those other cities with Paul, by being a faithful minister in Ephesus, he helped get the Gospel message out to many people he never even met.
That’s the way those ripples in the water work. The outer bands were never touched by the pebble that made the first ripple. But that first ripple made another ripple, which made another, which made another. The ripples make a wider and wider circle till they reach far beyond where the pebble fell into the water.
Timothy’s ministry touched many people who were far beyond his physical reach because he was helping Paul in his ministry. But at the same time, Timothy also faithfully ministered daily to the people in the church at Ephesus… the people he could touch. And we know from the book of Revelation that Ephesus became a church that faithfully worshipped and served the Lord. Listen to the record given of the Ephesian church:
1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
This was God’s special message to the church at Ephesus, probably written about 30 years after Timothy became their pastor. What good things did God have to say about this church?
No doubt, much of this came from Timothy’s influence on the church. Do you remember today’s memory verse? Paul encouraged Timothy to be a great example to other believers. And he must have done that as he lived out a faithful Christian testimony before the Ephesian church.
The passage in Revelation goes on to rebuke the church for later falling away from the love it had, at first. Perhaps Timothy was instrumental in inspiring that first love in them. And after he was gone, that vibrant love faded. So they needed to be encouraged to find it, again.
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works;
We have seen how Timothy’s ripples of faith reached out to the people at the church in Ephesus. And we’ve seen that they reached even beyond him, to Paul’s ministry throughout Asia Minor. So what do the ministries of Paul and Timothy have to do with New Testament women of faith? The answer is that someone else’s ripples must have reached Timothy, so his ripples could also spread out. And those people for Timothy were his own mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois.
We first meet Eunice in the book of Acts, at the same time that we’re introduced to Timothy:
1 Then came [Paul] to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:
2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.
We already knew that Timothy had a good reputation with Paul and the believers in Ephesus. Now we see that he was also well thought of in Lystra and Iconium, the region where Timothy grew up. But here we get a glimpse at who might have influenced him to be strong in his faith. We learn that Timothy’s mother was also a believer in Jesus. So Timothy, and his faith, was a ripple from his mother’s faith.
But who was the original pebble in the family…the one responsible for the ripples of faith that reached out through Asia Minor, and beyond? Paul gives us that answer in the second letter he wrote to Timothy.
(2 Timothy 1)
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
2 To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;
5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
How did Paul describe Timothy’s faith? He said it was “unfeigned.” That means it was sincere, real. Timothy did not need to pretend to have faith in God because his faith was strong and true. He believed in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, with his whole heart. And the way he lived, serving others in his hometown and in Ephesus, was proof of that faith.
We already know from the account in Acts that Timothy learned to love and trust Jesus from his mother, whose name was Eunice. But we also learn here, in 2 Timothy, that another woman started the ripples of faith in Timothy’s family. It was his grandmother, Lois. She may never have realized just how many people her faith touched through her simple faithfulness in passing it along to Eunice and Timothy.
But if we stop to really consider how far her example of faith has reached, you and I can also say that we are ripples in Lois and Eunice’s puddle. Because of their faithfulness, Timothy also developed a strong faith in Jesus. And because of his faith, Paul wrote him two letters that are part of our Bibles, today. We can learn more about God, and how to live in a way that pleases Him, from reading the words that were written to Timothy.
We also have many more books of the Bible available to us because Paul was able to concentrate on the ministry the Lord had for him because he had men like Timothy taking care of the churches for him. Perhaps one day, when we get to Heaven, we can find Eunice and Lois, and thank them for the faithful examples they were to Timothy.
Do you have a Eunice or Lois in your life? Is there someone in your family who has been a great example to you, and helped you along in learning about Jesus? If you do, I hope you take the time to thank the Lord for putting that person in your life. And perhaps you could take time, even this week, to thank that person for being the pebble that sent out faith ripples to reach you.
But what if you’ve never had anyone in your family who helped lead you to faith in Jesus? Sometimes that person can be a friend, or a pastor, or Sunday School teacher. Whoever that person is, in your life, be thankful that God sent them into your life to help you find Jesus.
And I know there may be some here, today, who have no Lois or Eunice at all in their lives. There has never been another person who reached out to you, to show you the way of salvation. If that’s true of you, then you are in a very special position. YOU can be the pebble that starts wave after wave of faith in Jesus simply by sharing your faith with someone else.
Perhaps one day you will share what you know about Jesus with a friend. And maybe they will tell a cousin, who will go on to tell a friend, who will reach out to their mom, who will tell her friend. And the ripples will just keep getting wider and wider. What an opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those you might not even know.
Each one of us can do that, today. We can be the pebble that starts the ripples moving. Or we can be the next ripple that moves the next one, which touches the next one. God would love nothing more than to see His word spread through your faithfulness, and mine.
Let’s all be pebbles of faith, reaching out to share our faith with others around us, even this week! You’re not too young to start now. Remember our memory verse? Don’t let anyone tell you you’re too young to spread the good news. Just live out your faith for everyone to see. Be an example of faith, and the ripples will spread.
Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the examples of Eunice and Lois, and Timothy too; and how they were examples of faith to those around them. Help each of us to be willing pebbles, looking for opportunities to create ripples of faith in those around us. For we pray in Jesus’ name, amen.
Activity: (Review Questions)
Fill in the Blanks
True or False
1. Timothy was known in his hometown as a wild young man. (false – he had a good reputation)
2. Timothy followed Paul throughout his missionary journey. (false – he stayed to lead the church in Ephesus)
3. Paul described Timothy’s faith as “unfeined.” (true)
4. Paul also saw the faith of Timothy in Timothy’s mother and grandmother. (true)
5. Paul told Timothy to be an example to others. (true)