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Why did Timothy have to get circumcised before working with Paul?

Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek. The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.  Acts 16:1-3
            Why did Paul, who argued for grace when it came to Gentiles becoming believers, have Timothy get circumcised after Paul said circumcision was not imperative for salvation?  Paul saw that the circumcision issue would be a stumbling block to Timothy’s mission to reach the Jews in the area since he was part Greek and not fully Jewish.
            Timothy’s circumcision wasn’t a “have-to,” but a means to overcome unnecessary arguments and stumbling blocks.  If you were a Republican trying to reach people in a Democratic area, you wouldn’t wear a MAGA hat.  If you were an Auburn fan trying to reach Alabama fans, you wouldn’t wear your school’s t-shirt.  Why create walls when all you really want to do is get right to the Gospel?  Wouldn’t you wear an Auburn shirt to reach Auburn people?