2 Timothy 4:9-13
Paul didn’t want these to be his last words to Timothy, but knew they might be. Today we could get an email like this from Paul and be on a flight the same day. Then, it would take potentially months on its own, especially coupled with Timothy’s travel time even if he did leave immediately. There wasn’t time to delay as Paul knew his time on earth in this life could be up very soon. Paul had Luke by his side, but he’d sent other on to build up churches and continue evangelism in Galatia (Crescens), modern day Yugoslavia (Titus), and Timothy in Ephesus. Demas abandoned him, perhaps reminiscent of the disciples abandoning Jesus at His trial and crucifixion. He wrote to Timothy and Titus. I’m sure he wrote to Cresencs and probably others as well, but we don’t have those letters in Scripture. He asked for Mark to come to him, too, because he was “useful in ministry.” I love that line! He and Barnabas split over Mark being less than committed much earlier in his ministry. Now he sees him as a useful and desirable companion. Apparently Barnabas really was able to turn his cousin around, no doubt a work of the Holy Spirit through each of them. People do change and grow. Luke was still with Paul, which is why we have the book of Acts. Luke shared in the prison time in Rome the first time. He wasn’t afraid of persecution. It’s not really said why Tychicus was sent to Ephesus. Very likely he delivered the letter, and I would guess he was there also to fill in for Timothy so he could visit Paul in prison. It’s hard for a minister to get away without suitable relief. It bugs me when people decide to visit other churches or just not show up when the main pastor isn’t preaching…but that’s not really the point here. These men were tight, and in his last days, Paul wanted time with those he’d mentored so closely. Wherever we end up, I want those close relationships as a protégé and as a mentor. I want those lifelong relationships where we at least still chat every so often and where when the end comes we want to be together. It’s like family. And I love family. And, oh, Paul says not to forget his coat and good reading material. I’m sure a Roman dungeon was cold and boring in winter. I’m sure they knew what parchments he wanted and why they were important. It brings more regular life to the letter, I think, to see those basic personal wishes included and that helps bring Scripture to life.
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