2 Timothy 4:9-22
2 Timothy 4:9-22
2 Timothy 4:9-22
Do your best to come to me soon - This is the final few sentences that the Apostle Paul writes in his last recorded letter.
I know that as we look at the writings of Paul we have seen a man who has a godly stubbornness, and man who refuses to bow to anything other than the word and will of God. A man that because of his incredible devotion to Christ can at times come off as harsh or at the very least one who has a strong personality. A man that will preach and teach to everyone and anyone who will listen, and likewise will not stomach false preachers and teachers, and has many times called them out for their dangerous words even naming names when necessary.
And here we see at the end of Paul’s life his great desire to see Timothy who Paul has poured so much of his life into discipling him and watching the Lord make him a man ready to be the Pastor over the Ephesian churches.
What a comfort it must be for Paul to see how Timothy has been such a faithful follower of Christ. No doubt a much needed emotional boost for Paul as he is about to face death at the command of Emperor Nero for his faith in Christ Jesus. If the Lord tarries until I am an old man, I hope to be comforted in the same way by those who I have spent my life pouring into coming to see me off to glory knowing that they are faithfully serving Christ and will join me in His presence at the end of their service to Him.
Timothy’s faithfulness to Christ and friendship with Paul was especially important to Paul as he is all alone in that Roman dungeon (Mamertine Prison) as many have abandoned him or been sent off by him to minister in other places. Look at the next 3 verses.
Demas is a name we see in a couple other places. It is probable that the other places where he is mentioned is in reference to the same Demas
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, 24 and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.
Notice that Demas is called a fellow worker, then in the close to the letter to the church in Colossi some time later Paul writes...
14 Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas.
Just Demas, not a fellow worker or the beloved like Luke, and her in verse 10 he is sadly known as a man who has fallen in love with this present world. No doubt Demas caused Paul much heartbreak.
What a sad decline we see in the life of Demas, and yet a good heart check for each of us.
Crescens and Titus had left Paul out of necessity to minister to others.
Crescens - we do not know anything about him, but the Lord does and saw to it that his name was memorialized here as a faithful servant who was off ministering to the churches in Galatia that if you remember Paul wrote to about their legalisms and lack of following the leading of the Holy Spirit when he wrote...
1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
Then there is Titus who is another Pastor that Paul wrote his other Pastoral Epistle to which comes next in our Bibles after 2 Timothy. He is off to Dalmatia another place we don’t know too much about except that it is in modern day Europe. We can guess that there were probably about 101 Dalmatians in that church... haha
Luke - Dr. Luke the writer of the gospel according to Luke as well as the book of Acts was a constant faithful companion to Paul. No doubt many times ministering to Paul’s medical needs as Paul would get sick on his journeys, or his constant eye problems, or the many times he was beaten up while preaching the gospel. These 2 men had been through the trenches together, and you all know full well what kind of bonds are formed when you go through intense highs and lows with others for a long period of time. According to the way Acts 28 is written with the familiar “we” statements that Luke wrote with, Luke was even with Paul as he came to Rome for the first time.
Get Mark - John Mark. John was his Jewish name and Marcus his Latin (Roman) name. This is the same Mark that wrote the gospel according to Mark. He was Barnabas cousin and accompanied Paul and Barnabas on Paul’s first missionary journey. But in the middle of that mission trip Mark left them hanging in Pamphylia. When Paul and Barnabas were planning out their 2nd missionary journey Barnabas wanted to take Mark and Paul refused because he left them hanging on the last trip when their was much work to be done, so the Bible in Acts 15 tells us there arose a sharp dispute about Mark which resulted in Barnabas taking Mark and Paul taking Silas so that there was now 2 missionary journeys being taken at the same time since Paul and Barnabas couldn’t resolve their differences about John Mark.
I tell you all of that to point out the grace of God in Paul asking Timothy to get Mark and bring him to Rome. God is a God of reconciliation. He reconciled the world back to Himself through the sacrificial crucifixion of His only Son Jesus Christ and He has called us to reconciliation in Jesus name. That is not an easy thing, but it is no doubt easier and less painful than the measure that God took for us by sending His Son to die for us.
But also, I believe we also have the stark contrast between Demas and Mark here. Demas ran off because he was in love with the world and the things of the world. Mark had abandoned Paul but not Christ. Paul and Mark may not have reconciled right away, but they did in fact reconcile as evidenced by Paul asking for Mark to come to him at the end of his life. No doubt they would laugh and cry together over the past and for the future of the church.
Tychicus - We see him appear in Acts as a believer from Asia Minor, and in Ephesians, Colossians, he is found with Paul in his first imprisonment and Paul then sends him to both places to tell them of Paul’s well-fare, we then see him named in Titus 3 as the man that Paul sends to relive Titus in Crete so that Titus can meet Paul in Nicopolis, and then again here. Tychicus was a faithful servant of Christ who Paul relied on heavily. Look at one place that he is mentioned and how Paul refers to him...
7 Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord.
And now Paul, is sending Tychicus to Ephesus to free up Timothy to come to Rome.
Besides asking for Timothy to bring Mark, he now asks for a few important and simple items that are very telling for a man in a dungeon about to be executed. These are all that Paul has left in this world after committing his life to the Lord. He had no need for nor room for anything else.
Reminds me of Trevor and Jonathon a few years ago, as well as Daniel a few months ago all of which who stayed with us for a few days when they were on their missionary journey across the US. They had no room to take much. They had to travel light so that they wouldn’t be held back from the mission at hand of telling people about Jesus.
Bring the cloak - the dungeon in the Mamertine Prison was cold, damp, dark and riddled with disease from all the human waste and sick prisoners. The cloaks of those days would be a circular version of a serape or poncho. It would hang below the knee and have an opening in the middle for your head to go through. But think about this for a moment. Paul was so abandoned by people that he couldn’t even borrow a cloak from one of the Christians in Rome.
Books - various books that Paul had left with Carpus in Troas
above all else Parchments - specially prepared sheets of leather. This would be the copy of the Bible that Paul had for himself.
When I am at the end of my days I will want the word of God above all else.
To read over again of the story of God, His precious promises, His wondrous works, His love for mankind, etc...
Last minute warning and advice.
And then the married couple Pricilla and Aquila who are mentioned plenty of other places as fellow faithful workers for the sake of the gospel. Acts 18 tells us that they were fellow tent makers and had Paul stay and work with them so that Paul could afford to do the work of ministry, and in the same chapter we see them taking the eloquent speaking Apollos aside to teach him accurately about Jesus and in turn Apollos went on to speak even more boldly and accurately about Jesus before the Jews. One of the most telling mentions of them by Paul is found in...
3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well.
Onesiphorus was mentioned in chapter 1 and would have been from Ephesus.
Erastus is listed as the city treasurer in Romans 16
Trophimus is listed alongside Tychicus in Acts 20 and was also from Ephesus. He was there in Jersualem when Paul was arrested and was the Greek that they accused Paul of bringing into the Temple...
27 When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him, 28 crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who is teaching everyone everywhere against the people and the law and this place. Moreover, he even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.” 29 For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple. 30 Then all the city was stirred up, and the people ran together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple, and at once the gates were shut.
you is plural
And there we have the last recorded words of Paul the Apostle. How telling it is that after speaking to Timothy about all that was to come in the last days, and after a long many years of service to Christ, and after such great influence on the world by means of preaching the gospel, the last word that the world has from the Apostle Paul is
Grace be with you.