2 Timothy 4
2 Timothy 4:1-22
- Paul is now closing his last letter recorded within the New Testament with a “pass the baton” charge to Timothy to always be prepared to preach the word and use it to correct, rebuke and encourage the flock with great patience and careful instruction.
- Paul warns there will be a time when people will choose to listen to false teaching and myths that suits their desires vs. sound doctrine and truth.
- When this happens Timothy is to alert, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist and discharge all the duties of his ministry which is exactly what Paul has done as he anticipates his martyrdom under Nero
- Paul has fought well and finished the race and kept the faith so he now longs for the crown of righteousness awaiting him when he appears before the Lord. This crown awaits all who imitate such a way of life.
- Paul wants Timothy to get Mark and for them to come to him quickly because Demas did not “imitate such a way of life” but rather deserted Paul because he loved this world.
- Paul notes Crescens went to Galatia and Titus to Dalmatia so only Luke is with him now.
- Paul also asks Timothy to bring his cloak, scrolls and especially his parchments.
- Paul warns Timothy of Alexander the metalworker who opposed the gospel and harmed Paul and notes the Lord will repay Alexander for what he has done.
- Paul was alone at his first trial because (similar to Jesus’ trial) everyone had deserted him yet the Lord was with Paul and have him strength to proclaim the gospel to any Gentile with earshot.
- Instead of being sentenced to death by facing the lions, God delivered Paul from such an evil attack.
- Paul instructs Timothy to greet their companions Priscilla and Aquila and the family & servants of Onesiphorus an updates him on where Erastus and Trophimus are staying.
- Paul closes with a reminder to come quickly before winter and passes along greetings from several brothers and sisters in Christ.
- I found myself thinking of the big “what if” questions as I SOAP’d this chapter. If you were sending your last email ever to someone you’ve mentored, what would you write or if you were in prison and could take two personal items with you, what would you take? Of utmost priority to Paul is that Timothy is faithful to preach the word and shepherd others with great patience and careful instruction. What I need to be an effective shepherd? Greater patience and carefully discern and instruct others.
- My dad, a great uncle and other older men are writing their memoirs as a way of passing along their legacy and life to family and friends. Paul knows the end is near and he wants his scrolls and parchments. Perhaps he’s compiling portions of the New Testament to leave behind? Though tomorrow is not promised, as I enter the second half of my life, what do I want to put into writing to leave for others?
- Jesus has commanded shepherds to make disciples by teaching them to obey everything he has commanded. However our culture values wealth and material possessions, vanity and even the legalization of same-sex marriage is a reminder that with our consumer culture, people will choose teaching that supports their lifestyle and worldviews. Yet God’s shepherds are called to teach sound doctrine and endure hardship from those on the left and right who want to use Scripture to support their agendas.
- Demas is a faithful “fellow worker” mentioned in Colossians and Philemon but the last time he is mention by Paul he was not finished the race but rather chose to love the value of this world. Meanwhile, John Mark who did not persevere and finish his first missionary journey with Paul is called upon Paul years later as someone who could be helpful to Paul’s ministry—especially since we know Mark wrote a gospel account of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. The Christian life is not a sprint so I need to continue disciplines of abiding and close fellowship with others following Jesus so that I may someday rejoice that God’s grace allowed me to fight the good fight and finish the race.
Holy Father, thank you for the life, testimony and writings of Paul that provide me an example to follow with others here at Trinity and beyond. I ask specifically that you would keep me grounded in sound doctrine amidst an increasingly post-Christian culture that could lure me away like Demas to its values. Father, may I also be intentional to pass on to others what others have passed on to me. How can I invest in my Timothy’s this week and his summer? Also, Paul had a large network of “fellow workers” spread through many congregations in many cities. Lord, use me to strengthen the network of believers here in Silicon Valley for your glory. In Jesus name, Amen.
Posted on Tue, July 14, 2015
by Brian Landers