The Word Made Fresh
1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by God’s will, for the sake of the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus, 2to Timothy, my dear child.
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3I thank God, whom I worship with a clear conscience as did my ancestors, when I include you in my prayers every night and day. 4I remember your tears and long to see you. That would fill me with joy. 5I remember your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice. I know that faith now lives in you, 6and that’s why I want to remind you to revive God’s gift that was given to you through the laying on of my hands. 7After all, God didn’t give us an attitude of fearfulness, but rather a spirit of power and love and self-discipline.
8So, don’t be ashamed of my witness regarding our Lord. Join me in suffering for the good news. Rely on the strength of God, 9for God has saved us and called us to a sacred purpose – not based on our own accomplishments, but based on God’s own purpose and on his grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus from the beginning, 10and now has been made known in the appearance of our Savior Jesus Christ who erased death and brought eternal life through the gospel. 11It was this good news that I was appointed to announce as an apostle and a teacher. 12That is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed. I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I know he can protect what has been entrusted to me. 13I encourage you to hold close the sound standard of teaching you received from me, with faith and love for Christ Jesus. 14Guard this good treasure that has been entrusted to you with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
15I’m sure you’ve heard that all who are in Asia have turned away from me – especially Phygelus and Hermogenes.
16May the Lord be merciful to Onesiphorus’s family; he brought me refreshment often, and was not ashamed of my chains. 17When he came to Rome he searched for me and found me. 18May the Lord be merciful to him for that day! You know, of course, how much help he was in Ephesus.
1-2: The greeting in this letter is much like that of 1 Timothy, but there Paul was an apostle by the command of God while here his apostleship is by the will of God. Reading Paul’s letters, it is often difficult to decide whether he felt invited to be an apostle or was compelled to do it.
3-7: We learn some personal details about Timothy and the relationship between Timothy and Paul. Timothy was from Lystra and was the son of a Jewish mother and a Gentile father (Acts 16:1). Now we learn that his mother’s name was Eunice and his grandmother’s name was Lois, that Paul commissioned him to the work of evangelism through the ceremony known as the “laying on of hands,” and that when Paul left him to continue his journey the separation was a tearful one.
8-14: The great sweep of salvation history is covered in these few verses. Christ was “from the beginning,” then came in the flesh to abolish death and give life. Paul was appointed as herald, apostle, and teacher, and because of that he had to endure much suffering, including times of imprisonment. He tells Timothy to be brave and for the sake of the gospel not to shrink from the same suffering.
15-18: Paul mourns the loss of others who served in Ephesus before Timothy, whether they broke with Paul or left the church altogether is not specified; Paul would have thought one was like the other in any case. Onesiphorus stands out, however, as one who remained under Paul’s tutelage.
We should never despair when others are placed in leadership positions above us. Remember that followers are just as important and just as essential as leaders.