“Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.”
King James Version (KJV)
16:3 He took and circumcised him because of the Jews - The unbelieving Jews, to whom he designed he should preach. For they would not have conversed with him at all, so long as he was uncircumcised.
Ac 16:3 Go forth with him. As a traveling companion. And circumcised him. Not because he thought it necessary to salvation, but "because of the Jews". Wherever Paul traveled, he first labored in the Jewish synagogues. If one of his traveling companions was a Gentile, it would arouse Jewish prejudice so as to close their ears. Hence, since "neither circumcision nor uncircumcision was anything" (1Co 7:19), he complied with the principle that he states in 1Co 9:19,20. In Ga 2:3 it is stated that when Titus, a Greek, went up to Jerusalem, he was not compelled to be circumcised. Had he been, it would have been a concession to the Judaizing Christians who insisted that circumcision was necessary to salvation. Here the case was different. No Judaizing party made such a demand, and the act was one of pure expediency, in order to reach more unconverted Jews. These examples teach us to accommodate ourselves to the prejudices of others as far as we can without the sacrifice of principle. From other passages (1Ti 4:14 2Ti 1:6), we learn that, at this time probably, Timothy was ordained by the elders, and received special gifts by the imposition of the hands of the apostle.