29 Oct. 2 Timothy 4:6-22

29 Oct. What were Paul's last words before he was executed?

"My life is being given as an offering to God, and the time has come for me to leave this life. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

"Now, a crown is being held for me - a crown for being right with God. The Lord, the judge who judges rightly, will give the crown to me on that day [of Judgement] - not only to me but to all those who have waited with love for him to come again."

"Do your best to come [from Ephesus] to me [in Rome], As soon as you can, because Demas, who loved this world, left me and went to Thessalonica. Crescens went to Galatia, and Titus went to Dalmatia. Luke is the only one still with me."

"Get [John] Mark and bring him with you when you come, because he can help me in my work here. I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When I was in Troas, I left my coat there with Carpus. So when you come, bring it to me, along with my books, particularly the ones written on parchment."

"Alexander the [Jewish] metalworker did many harmful things against me. The Lord will punish him for what he did. You also should be careful that he does not hurt you, because he fought strongly against our teaching. The first time I defended myself [against these Jewish accusations of blasphemy], no one helped me; everyone left me. But the Lord stayed with me and gave me strength so I could fully tell the Good News to all those who are not Jews. So I was saved from the lion's mouth. The Lord will save me when anyone tries to hurt me, and he will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. Glory for ever and ever be the Lord's. Amen."

"Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the family of Onesiphorus. Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. Try as hard as you can to come to me before winter."

"Eubulus sends greetings to you. Also Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers and sisters in Christ [at Rome] greet you.
The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you."

          (2 Timothy 4:6-22)

 

 

Paul writes his final words to Timothy by encouraging him to get on with teaching the Good News as the time will come when people will not listen to the truth, but will only believe what they are itching to hear. (see 2 Timothy 4:1-5)

As for Paul himself, “the time has come for me to leave this life” (2 Timothy 4:6). Paul has done his best in the race of life: “I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). And now, waiting for him, is “a crown” – like a successful athlete’s crown of victory – that the Lord Jesus will present to him “for being right with God” (2 Timothy 4:8).

We have only a limited knowledge of Paul’s final days in Rome, awaiting execution in the Mamertine Prison adjacent to the Forum. The prison, including its underground ‘inner dungeon’ can, however, still be visited today beneath the Basilica di San Paolo in Carcere.

From his prison cell, Paul tells Timothy about his fellow-workers who are still with him in Rome, or who have left Rome for more distant parts: Demas (see Colossians 4:14 & Philemon 1:24) has deserted Paul and has gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has journeyed to Galatia and Titus has been sent by Paul to Dalmatia (see Titus 3:12). Only Luke is with Paul in Rome (see Colossians 4:14 & Philemon 1:24), though he has also been visited by Onesiphorus (see 2 Timothy 1:16-18).

Paul asks Timothy to visit him soon (2 Timothy 4:9), bringing John Mark (the nephew of Barnabas), whom Paul earlier sent from Rome to Ephesus and Colossae (see Colossians 4:10). Paul has sent Tychicus (who earlier travelled to Ephesus and Colossae to take Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians and his Letter to the Colossians) (see Ephesians 6:21-22, Colossians 4:7-8 & Acts 20:4) from Rome to assist Timothy at Ephesus (2 Timothy 4:12).

When Timothy comes to visit him in Rome, Paul asks him to bring the coat that he left in Troas with Carpus, and also to bring his books – especially the expensive ones made of parchment.

Paul warns Timothy to be on his guard against Alexander, the Jewish metal worker who had done Paul a great deal of harm. Paul reports that no-one stood by him when he defended himself [Greek ‘apologia’ means a ‘defence’ NOT a ‘trial’] against Alexander’s false accusations of blasphemy (see 1 Timothy 1:20) – but the Lord rescued him from these false accusations by certain Jews, so he could continue to proclaim the message to all the Gentiles.

Paul sends his final greetings to Aquila and Priscilla in Ephesus, with whom he had stayed for eighteen months in Corinth on his second missionary journey (see Acts 18:3) and for three years in Ephesus on his third missionary journey (see Acts 18:18-19, 18:26, 19:1, and 1 Corinthians 16:19). By the time of writing in c.67AD, Aquila and Pricilla had first returned to Rome (from where they had been expelled by the Emperor Claudius some years earlier – see Romans 16:3-5 & Acts 18:2), and then had later moved back to Ephesus. Paul also sends greetings to the family of Onesiphorus, who is currently with Paul in Rome (see 2 Timothy 1:16-18).

Paul brings Timothy up-to-date on the whereabouts of two other fellow-workers from Ephesus (2 Tim. 4:20). Erastus is still in Corinth (where he is the Director of Public Works) (see Acts 19:22 & Romans 16:23) while Trophimus was left by Paul in Miletus because he was ill.

Paul urges Timothy to do his best to visit him in Rome before the winter (when storms would make the Mediterranean Sea crossing from Ephesus impossible) (2 Tim. 4:21-22).

He sends greetings from Eubulus, Pudens, Linus (who, according to tradition, became the first leader of the church in Rome, after Paul and Peter), Claudia and the other believers in Rome, before finishing with a benediction: “The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you” (2 Timothy 4:22).

No-one knows exactly when Paul died. The Basilica San Paolo alle Tre Fontane (the ‘Church of St Paul with the three fountains’), south of Rome’s city centre on the Via Ostiense, is believed to mark the spot where Paul was executed in c.67AD. The Basilica of San Paolo fuori le Mura, also on the Via Ostiense just outside the old Roman city walls, was built originally in the 4th century AD by the Christian emperor Constantine, where an earlier memorial marked the spot believed to be the site of Paul’s burial.

The photo shows the Temple of Concord (left) and the Arch of Septimius Severus (right) in the Roman Forum at Rome. The Mamertine Prison is underneath the building at the far left of the photo (the Basilica di San Paolo in Carcere).

You can read more about Paul's final days @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/16…/pauls-final-sacrifice/


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