Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Pilgrimages With Paul
2 Timothy Ch 4.9-22

Paul shares his loneliness with Timothy, asking him to come to him and telling how Demas has deserted him (for greener pastures or perhaps by completely abandoning the faith); Crescens (this is the only mention of this person in the New Testament) has gone to Galatia (of Letter to the Galatians fame); Titus (whom we know) is off to Dalmatia on the Adriatic coast. (It seems that Titus must have organized the community on Crete {see Titus 1.5) and moved on to new territory). Luke, whom we know from Colossians 4.14, remains with Paul. Mark (Philemon, vs 24) is to come with Timothy. Paul notes that he has sent Tychicus (Ephesians 6.21) to Ephesus. An endearing note is the request to bring Paul his cloak and parchments. Paul reprises his feelings toward Alexander (1 Tim 1.20). He repeats his disappointment mentioned in 1.15 but prays that the Lord forgive his deserters (2.16). The phrase “to wax eloquently” certainly applies to the next few verses about being strengthened by the Lord, rescue from the lion’s mouth, and confidence of a place in the kingdom. This section concludes with a doxology (4.17).

Prisca and Aquila are on the scene once more; this is Paul’s third reference to them (Rom 16.3; Cor 16.19; they are also found in Acts 18). Paul sends greetings to his friends (the family of Onesiphorous (2 Tim 1.16). From Romans 16.20 we know that Erastus was the treasurer of the city of Corinth. Paul notes that Trophimus (Acts 20.4f) is ill at Miletus (the place where Greek philosophy was born). In 4.21 Paul urges Timothy to come to him before winter; when winter set in, all sea travel was suspended. Eubulus?? Pudens??  Your guess is as good as anyone’s.  A fourth century work called “The Apostolic Constitutions” identifies Linus as the successor of Peter as the leader of the community in Rome and Claudia as his mother (4.12).

An interesting point of grammar from the last line: “The Lord be with you (singular- meaning Timothy). Grace be with all of you (plural- may suggest that the letter was meant to be read out loud in a gathering of the community).

Something to consider:
We’re back in port after a thirteen-stop Pilgrimage with Paul. Thanks for being such good travelling companions. Next installment, I’ll share some things that I find particularly important, helpful, reassuring, challenging from our Pilgrimages with Paul. Why not jot down a few of yours. 

Unpack, relax, thank the Lord for His Presence with us on pilgrimage. After a couple of days break, though, we’ll be off again. Besides Paul’s letter, there are 8 more letters in the New Testament. Are you up for it? Looking forward to being with you on our next trip through “Letters of Light.”


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