II Timothy

II Timothy 4:9-13 Feeling Abandoned, But Also Comforted.

Paul really wanted to see Timothy. No doubt this was part of why he wanted Timothy to train up other men for leadership, so that the church at Ephesus could eventually carry on without him. Perhaps Paul even thought of Timothy as following him in an itinerant ministry. One thing was clear, Paul felt abandoned. He longed for Timothy’s companionship. Demas was with Paul during his first imprisonment (Col. 4:14), and along with Luke and the others, was a fellow labourer (Philemon 24). Furthermore, since Titus is also listed, along with a Crescens, as also among those who had “forsaken” him, there is no reason to think that the love of this present world meant that Demas necessarily had abandoned the faith (v. 10).

It is surely the case that there are times when one feels abandoned, in Paul’s case suffering imprisonment, even though our friends and colleagues are engaged in very legitimate and necessary work elsewhere. This does not mean we should deny these feelings, nor indeed our desire for companionship in such trying circumstances.Two other people held a special place for Paul-Luke and Mark. Luke, the “beloved physician” (Col. 4:14), not only provided spiritual companionship, but he no doubt was ever present to also address Paul’s physical needs. This must have surely been a great comfort to Paul. Nevertheless, he seems to have really missed his fellow ministers. For this reason he wants Timothy to bring Mark with him since he was “useful” to him “for ministry” (v. 11).

Paul, perhaps not wanting the ministry in Ephesus to suffer from the loss of Timothy and Mark, informs Timothy that he had sent Tychicus there to serve (v. 12), whom Luke mentions along with Timothy in Acts (20:4). Perhaps it was Tychicus who was the bearer of this letter. Perhaps from the urging of Luke, in anticipation of winter coming (v. 21), he also asks Timothy to bring his cloak with him, for protection against the dampness and cold. He also wanted Timothy to bring “the books, especially the parchments” (v. 13). Ultimately the scriptures are in view, and vital for Paul to receive. These were necessary for ministry, but they would also be a source of comfort and strength. There are times when the bible is indeed our main source of strength and hope.

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