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II Timothy Listen
An introduction to II Timothy
II Timothy was probably written a year or so after I Timothy from Rome, a second imprisonment. Although outside the bounds of the account of the Book of Acts, history would seem to indicate that Paul was rearrested, this time during Neros massive repression of Christians. He was most likely beheaded under Nero in A.D. 64. This letter was sent to Timothy by the hands of Tychicus. Paul seems to be setting things in order in anticipation of his death.
Paul is writing from Rome to Timothy in Ephesus. Ephesus is part of the region of the Roman Empire known as Asia. Rome is approximately 800 miles to the northwest of Asia, and Jerusalem is about 600 miles to the southeast.
Timothy! Guard the treasure! (II Timothy 1)
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
2 To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;
5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
15 This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.
16 The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:
17 But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.
18 The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.
As is typical in Paul's epistles, he establishes his authority in verse 1 as "an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God." For more insight regarding the validity of Paul's apostleship, see the notes on Acts 1:12-26. He refers to Timothy in verse 2 as "my dearly beloved son." This is a reference to the fact that Paul had discipled Timothy in the faith, a point he makes in I Timothy 1:2 (see notes) when he refers to Timothy as "my own son in the faith." Paul's background was completely Jewish. Since his conversion, Paul sought to convince the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah for which they were looking. In verse 3 he makes the point of this continuity between Judaism and life in Christ by saying, "I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience." Paul did not abandon Judaism; he is serving God just as he and and his forefathers did.
Paul does some reminiscing in verses 4-6, making reference to his desire to see Timothy along with a comment on the "unfeigned faith" of Timothy, his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. The Greek word for "unfeigned" is "anupokritos." Without the prefix "an" you see the Greek word that is transliterated into our word "hypocrisy." With the prefix, it means "without hypocrisy" i.e. faith without hypocrisy - genuine faith.
Paul first met Timothy and his family on his second missionary journey at Lystra in Acts 16:1-3 (see notes). Paul refers to Timothy's ordination service in verse 6 when he says, "Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands." That ordination was also discussed in greater detail in I Timothy 1:18 (see notes).
In addition to the introductory comments, Timothy is encouraged to guard the faith and keep it from corruption - specifically that he should combat the false teaching regarding the message of grace. In Paul's first letter to Timothy, it seems certain that this was some form of the false Gnostic doctrine that was prevalent in that region during that period. You can't help but admire Paul's boldness in the face of a death sentence when he says in II Timothy 1:7, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." In verse 8 Paul encourages Timothy not to let affliction prevent him from spreading the Gospel. In verses 9-11 he combines two callings into these verses - his call to salvation and his call to the ministry - both by God's grace and without regard to Paul's capabilities or works. Not only without regard to Paul's abilities, this call was determined prior to Paul's birth; he confirms this point when he says, "which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." For more information regarding God's predetermination, see the notes on Romans 9.
The ministry message is made very clear in verse 10, "But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." As a "preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles" (verse 11), Paul makes it clear that his mission of delivering the Gospel to the Gentiles has resulted in his imprisonment when he says in verse 12, "For the which cause I also suffer these things." However, the suffering he experiences for doing so pales in the face of eternity.
Paul begins his ministry charge to Timothy in verses 13-14:
With regard to the ministry charge, Paul goes into greater detail in chapters 2-3 and summarizes that charge again in chapter 4. Actually, the whole letter is a charge to the ministry for Timothy in the face of Paul's departure.
He expresses dismay over some Believers in Asia (verse 15). He is not referring to the whole continent of Asia here, but a Roman province of Asia, at the west end of Asia Minor. Ephesus was located there along with the seven churches John addresses in Revelation 2-3. We know nothing more of Phygellus and Hermogenes beyond what is written here. Onesiphorus (verses 16-18) is commended and mentioned also in 4:14 (see below) at the end of Paul's letter to Timothy.
An overview of Paul's charge to Timothy (II Timothy 2)
Paul provides a rather direct outline for the ministry as he elaborates on the charge given to Timothy in chapter 2. Notice these ministry commands:
Triple metaphors - a soldier, a runner and a farmer (II Timothy 2:1-10)
1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.
7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:
9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
Verse 1 seems to summarize Paul's comments in chapter 1. Based upon everything that's been said about you, Timothy, "Be strong!" In verse 2, Timothy is encouraged to take the Gospel message he had heard under Paul and "the same commit thou to faithful men." Why? That they may "be able to teach others also." It's a multiplying effect that Paul sees here - disciples discipling disciples. By the way, THAT WORKED! The Gospel message circled the globe as a result of this concept.
In verses 3-6, Paul uses three metaphors to make his point regarding the ministry. First, Paul compares Believers to soldiers in verses 3-4. The good soldier perseveres in the Christian life and views it as a battle against Satan. A soldier stays focused on the objective; he avoids distractions from his objective; so should Believers. Then Paul metaphorically shifts to the Olympic runner in verse 5. You wanna prize - the first-place prize? Then follow the prescribed rules for running the race. And finally, the farmer metaphor in verse 6 - the laboring farmer sees fruits of his labors. The perseverance of the soldier and the discipline of the Olympic runner yield the good harvest for the farmer. Paul pulls these metaphors together in verses 7-10 as he applies them to his ministry. Because Jesus is the Messiah ("seed of David") and resurrected from the grave, Paul is willing to suffer for that message of the Gospel. The salvation of others ("the elect") is reward enough for the suffering; the suffering is worth the prize. Hmmm...what does Paul mean when he uses the word "elect?" It's translated from the Greek word "eklektos" and is used 23 times in the New Testament. It is always translated "elect" or "chosen."For a closer look regarding Paul's usage of the word "elect," see the notes on Romans 9.
A confusing passage...revealed (II Timothy 2:11-13)
11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
Some explanation is in order for verses 11-13. Some have used these verses to indicate that one's salvation might be lost under certain circumstances. NOT TRUE! Let's break it down phrase by phrase. Verse 11 says, "It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:" The Greek verb translated "be dead" is an aorist indicative active verb indicating a previous act of death. In other words, "if we died with him" expresses Paul's thought here. We recognize that phrase from Romans 6:1-14 (see notes) where Paul pictures the salvation experience as putting to death the old man. So, Paul says in verse 11 that those who have trusted Christ as their personal Savior will live with Christ in eternity.
Before we look at the first half of verse 12, let's do a brief study on the word "suffer" there. In the King James Version, the Greek word "hupomeno" is only translated "suffer" in this verse. Used 17 times altogether, it is usually translated "endure" (as is the case in verse 10); three times it is used in the context of being "patient" in trials." The Greek word itself is a compound word which means "remain under." The connotation in this verse is to remain under control during affliction. So, here's what Paul is saying: Your reward for "remaining under" control during the trials of being a Christian will be realized when you "reign" with Christ. This concept is explained nicely by Romans 8:18 (see notes), "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."
Now for the troublesome phrase, "if we deny him, he also will deny us:" Part of the modern-day misunderstanding of this verse is due to a very bad translation of the phrase by the New International Version rendering the phrase "if we disown him." There is NO precedent to translate the Greek word "arneomai" used in this verse as "disown." The English word "disown" implies current ownership. In reality, this phrase speaks directly to the proposition of salvation itself. After hearing the presentation of Jesus Christ as Savior and Messiah, will you accept or "deny" that proposition. So, those who "deny" Christ (decline to accept him as Savior) will be denied by Christ.
Verse 13 puts verse 12 into perspective, "If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself." The Greek word for "believe not" here is "apisteo." The noun form of the root here (pist) means "faith." The negative "a" at the beginning of the Greek word causes the word to mean "no faith" or "unfaithful." So, what happens when your faith becomes weak - even to the point of questioning your own salvation? Here's the great news! It's not our faith that keeps us saved, but God's faithfulness. It wasn't a mustering of faith on our part that saved us in the first place, but rather the "faith of Christ" as seen in Galatians 2:15-21 (see notes). Galatians 2:16 and 20 particularly note that we are saved by the "faith OF Christ." Again let me say, verse 13 teaches that even in our times of lack of faith or even seemingly no faith, Christ remains faithful still, because he cannot deny the spiritual seed that has been planted in every Believer at salvation which constitutes the "born again" experience. Salvation is not based upon how we feel on any given day, but rather God's faithfulness to his spiritual children.
Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed (AWANA) (II Timothy 2:14-26)
14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
Yup, verse 15 is where we get the name for our kids' club, AWANA. Paul contrasts approved workmen to disapproved workmen - those who go after "profane and vain babblings" (verse 16). The two Greek words used here mean "worldly foolish talk." This is used in the context of discussing issues of doctrine. Likewise, avoid contention with others about "words to no profit" (verse 14). Such contentious conversation can be harmful to those who are listeners to such conversations. There are a lot of false doctrines out there; AVOID THEM! How does one avoid false doctrine? STUDY, STUDY, STUDY! Look at verse 15, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Study of God's word makes one an approved workman, and approved workmen know how to rightly divide the word of truth.
Paul comments on a couple of men who departed from the faith and taught false doctrine - that the resurrection was already past. We know nothing of Philetus beyond what is written here, but Hymenaeus gets dishonorable mention in I Timothy 1:19-20 (see notes). This false doctrine taught by them struck at the very core of the faith, causing the "overthrow" of the faith of some (verse 18). The Greek verb for "overthrow" is "anatrepo" which means "to cause serious difficulty or trouble with regard to someones belief." However, Paul is careful to clarify in verses 19-21 that salvation is based upon faith. Let's face it; there are going to be ill-informed, false teachers. This passage seems to demonstrate that they aren't necessarily lost people, but they do damage to other Believers. Notice verse 19, "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." Paul treats the teaching of this ill-informed teacher as an "iniquity" that needs to be cleansed. His wording would indicate a reference to a precedent, likely that of Korah back in Numbers 16 (see notes); the wording here resembles that which was spoken by Moses in Numbers 16:5, 26. It's a I John 1:9 (see notes) issue, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." In Paul's "great house" illustration, these false teachers are vessels of dishonor. They have an opportunity in verse 21, "If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the masters use, and prepared unto every good work." The KJV word "meet" used there comes from the Greek word "euchrestos" and means useful or profitable. These teachers of false doctrine must "purge" themselves of their false doctrine.
Timothy was young, making Paul's comment of verse 22 particularly meaningful to him when he says, "Flee also youthful lusts." The Greek noun for "lusts" there is "epithumia" which means "strong desires." In other words, Timothy is encouraged to pass on the common indiscretions of youth and rather follow after a pattern of "righteousness, faith, charity, peace." This is the Holy Spirit-led inclination for those who "call on the Lord out of a pure heart." In verse 23, Paul notes that some questions don't merit answers - foolish questions which have no profitable use were they to be answered. One should not be absorbed by those. They cause unnecessary strife, for which a Christian minister should not be known (verse 24). The purpose of gentle and patient correction is: (1) to bring repentance; (2) to acknowledge the truth; and (3) to release from "the snare of the devil."
They'll turn their backs on God (II Timothy 3:1-13)
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.
10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
Paul issues a prophecy here regarding the last days: Godlessness will prevail. Here's the rundown on the state of mankind during this time:
Whoa...what a list! These are the natural characteristics of carnality. Paul says it will become increasingly more difficult to take a stand for Christ in the face of this kind of cultural norm. In verse 12 he says, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."
The weak women of verses 6-7 are apparently a reference to those who go after new ideas - swayed by impulses rather than sound reasoning. Regarding Jannes and Jambres and verse 8, most conclude that these were the two Egyptian magicians of Exodus 7:11, 22 (see notes). Since they are not mentioned by name anywhere, this is just an intelligent guess.
Here's the scary aspect of these verses: The people described here may seem religious! Look at verse 5, "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." In the midst of a politically-correct era, it is just not fashionable to categorize church-going religious people as anything other than "trying their best to be right with God." However, these people with their "form of godliness" are evil, evil, evil. Will it get better? NO! Verse 13 says, "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." Nevertheless, Paul encourages Timothy to expose error and manifest the truth in verses 9-11.
Here's a word about the Word (II Timothy 3:14-17)
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
We see the importance of exposing children to the Word of God at an early age. Romans 10:17 (see notes) says, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Then we have some important statements about the Word of God beginning in verse 16. The phrase "given by inspiration of God" comes from just one Greek word, "theopneustos." This compound Greek word literally means "God breathed." That is the definition of inspiration as it applies to scripture. I point this out to differentiate the way that many use the word "inspiration" today. Artists use it to talk about how they felt when they painted a picture or wrote a song or poem. As you can see, the Word of God is sourced as a work from God himself by Paul here in this passage. It was not given as a result of an enhanced feeling of great emotion to those who wrote the words down. The Word of God was breathed out from God with the exact words that were to be written. It is this concept that protects the doctrinal integrity of the Word of God. While The Holy Spirit allowed the personality and circumstances of those credited with the writing to show through, the doctrine conveyed is the supernatural Word of God as inspired "breathed" by God himself through the leadership of the Holy Spirit. That's what "inspired" means as it relates to scripture.
Now, notice the benefits of God's Word in verses 16-17:
And what is the end result of the application of God's Word in the Believer's life? Here it is in verse 17: "That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." The Greek word translated "perfect" (artios) there means "fully qualified." The Greek word for "throughly furnished" (exartizo) means "fully equipped." So, put it together and you have the Word of God being the tool that makes Believers fully qualified and fully equipped for the ministry.
So, Timothy, here's what you do with your sword (II Timothy 4:1-5)
1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
We saw in 3:14-17 (see above) what the word of God is. That being the case, 4:1-2 explains how the Gospel preacher is to use the Word of God in his ministry. I like to think of them as the distinguishing characteristics of what the preacher is charged (verse 1) to do when he preaches as found in verse 2: "...reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."
The preacher of the Word is to use God's Word to do the following:
I call them the five-fold characteristics of a pulpit message. Notice how unique those five components make the preacher's message in contrast to any other kind of public speaking. Tough assignment - don't you agree? However, while the preacher is reproving, rebuking and exhorting, the doctrinal basis for this preaching must be included along with a longsuffering (Greek: "makrothumia" means "to suffer long") from the preacher, understanding that people need time to spiritually grow. In other words, Paul's formula for preaching here doesn't make sweeping changes overnight. However, with the inclusion of "doctrine" and giving the people time (exercising "longsuffering"), the recipients of preaching from the Word improve in the quality of their Christian walk over time. Unfortunately, many preachers are looking for a quick-fix message; they are too impatient to wait for God to change hearts over an extended period of time.
I've always been struck by the simple fact that we are told what the Word of God is in verses 3:16-17, and then immediately we are told how the preacher is to use that tool. It's like saying, "Here's a saw, now go saw!"
Paul continues this charge to Timothy by pointing out in verses 3-5 that "sound doctrine" will become less and less fashionable as time goes on. Paul already realized, perhaps from the errant doctrines he had already witnessed, that it would be difficult for preachers to hold the line on sound doctrine. They will go after flashy doctrines that deviate from the truth - "fables" (Greek: "muthos" means "myths") rather than unadulterated scripture.
Ready to check out of this world (II Timothy 4:6-8)
6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
As Paul is writing this letter to Timothy, he is anticipating his death (execution by Nero) and reflecting on his life's accomplishments for God. When read in that context, these three verses are very moving. Here's a man facing death, yet acknowledging that he has finished his course. What makes this declaration more interesting is the fact that Paul had declared to the Ephesian elders back in Acts 20:24 (see notes) that he must go back to Jerusalem to "finish my course with joy." That's where Paul's big problems began, but he knew in advance that he was compelled to go to Jerusalem and stand up for Christ, whatever the consequences, as a matter of finishing his course. I can't help but personalize these verses. Paul wasn't facing death with the attitude, "I should have done more!" Paul was at peace with God and the service for God that he had performed - GREAT TESTIMONY! As Believers, we should be living a guilt-free life, knowing that we are where God wants us and doing what God wants us to do.
Some final thoughts (II Timothy 4:9-22)
9 Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:
10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.
12 And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus.
13 The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.
14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:
15 Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.
16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.
17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
19 Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.
20 Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.
21 Do thy diligence to come before winter. Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren.
22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.
With these parting comments, Paul points out the loneliness of standing for God. He encourages Timothy to come for a visit in verse 9. In verse 10, Demas had been a companion and fellow laborer of Paul during his first imprisonment at Rome, mentioned favorably in Philemon 1:24 (see notes) and Colossians 4:14 (see notes). You will notice the mention of Luke in verse 11. It is commonly believed likely that Luke wrote his Gospel account and the Book of Acts during his time with the Apostle Paul.
Paul's call for Mark to join him is quite interesting...maybe not particularly significant, but interesting. We first read about Mark in Acts 12:12 (see notes). "John" was his Jewish name, and "Mark" was his Roman name. Most scholars consider him to be the one who wrote the Gospel of Mark. When the angel delivered Peter from prison, he went immediately to John Mark's house where the prayer meeting was being held. Paul and Barnabas took John Mark to Antioch (Acts 12:25, see notes) and then he accompanied them on Paul's first missionary journey (Acts 13:5, see notes). But Mark, for some reason, returned to Jerusalem (Acts 13:13, see notes). Consequently, Paul refused to take John Mark with them on the second missionary journey (Acts 15:36-40, see notes), causing Paul and Barnabas to part ways over the issue. Barnabas took John Mark with him to Cyprus while Paul chose another running mate, Silas. Later on, we find Mark with Paul in his first Roman imprisonment (Colossians 4:10, see notes). Now Mark is requested by Paul to join him in his second imprisonment.
Tychicus was from Asia and accompanied Paul on his last trip to Jerusalem in Acts 20:4 (see notes). He delivered Paul's letters to the Colossians (Colossians 4:7-8, see notes) and to the Ephesians (Ephesians 6:21, see notes).
Paul makes a request concerning the "books" (Greek: biblia) and "especially the parchments" in verse 13. The Expositors Bible Commentary has the following note concerning these parchments. "This kind of writing material was more expensive than papyrus; membrana (a Latin word, only here in the New Testament) were scrolls or codices written on animal skins (vellum). These may have been leather scrolls of Old Testament books."
There's a special mention of a guy named Alexander in verse 14. He was a coppersmith who, with Hymenaeus and others, fostered certain heresies regarding the resurrection (I Timothy 1:19-20, see notes). Paul excommunicated him according to I Timothy 1:20, when compared to the language for excommunication used by Paul in I Corinthians 5:5 (see notes). We do see in these verses, however, the commendation Paul extends to those who have stuck with him.
Paul first met Aquila and his wife, Priscilla in Acts 18 (see notes). Like himself, they were tentmakers. We know nothing additionally about Onesiphorus beyond what is written here and up in 1:16, "The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain." Erastus was a municipal worker, referred to in Romans 16:23 (see notes).
Trophimus is mentioned as being sick. He was from the province of Asia and accompanied Paul in carrying the offering from the Gentile churches to the poor saints at Jerusalem in Acts 20:4 (see notes). As a matter of fact, Paul was arrested in Jerusalem because of Trophimus (Acts 21:29, see notes). We know nothing else regarding Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, and Claudia beyond their mention here in verse 21.