23: Parting Words (2Tim 4:1-22)
Paul is coming
to the close of this last epistle. Soon, Paul will die the death of a martyr.
In the previous chapters, we have seen Paul’s urgent concern that the ministry
will continue through Timothy. In this final chapter, the climax of the
epistle, Paul commands Timothy once again with a most solemn charge to preach
the word and fulfill his ministry as Paul himself has faithfully done.
“But you be watchful in all
things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your
Did You Know…?
1. “Drink offering” (4:6): “The offering of wine
poured around the base of the altar (see Num 15:1-12; 28:7,24).”
2. Demas (4:10) was Paul’s “fellow laborer” (Philem 24) who accompanied Paul during Paul’s first Roman
4:14). But, as we will see in this passage, he later forsook Paul because he
loved the world (4:10).
3. “Dalmatia” (4:10):
“Present-day Albania and a portion of Yugoslavia,
also known in scripture as Illyricum
4. Mark (4:11) was from Jerusalem. He was one of the earliest
believers. His mother’s house was their gathering place (Acts 12:12). Paul and
Barnabas took him along on their first missionary journey, but the young Mark
quit and went back home (Acts 12:25, 13:13). Because of this, Paul refused to
take Mark on his second journey and had a serious dispute with Barnabas over
this matter (15:36-38). However, Mark later became an important fellow worker
of Paul (Phm 24). When Paul was imprisoned in Rome the first time, Mark was by his side (Col 4:10). In this
chapter, we see that one of Paul’s last wishes was to see Mark.
5. “Cloak” (4:13): “For protection against dampness…It
was probably a heavy, sleeveless, outer garment, circular in shape and with a
hole in the middle for one’s head.”
6. “Scrolls and parchments” (4:13): “The
scrolls…were made of papyrus, and the parchments were made of the skins of
animals. The latter may have been copies of parts of the OT.”
7. “Erastus” (4:20): “A
Corinthian and one of Paul’s disciples whose salutations he sends from Corinth to the church at Rome as those of “the city treasurer” (Rom
16:23). The word so rendered is oikonomos (Vulg., arcarius) and denotes an officer or steward of great
dignity in ancient times (Josephus Ant. 7.8.2); the conversion of such a man to
the faith of the gospel was proof of the wonderful success of the apostle’s
labors in that city. We find Erastus with Paul at Ephesus as one of his attendants or deacons, and he was
sent along with Timothy into Macedonia
while the apostle himself remained in Asia
(Acts 19:22). They were both with the apostle at Corinth
when he wrote, as above, from that city to the Romans; at a subsequent period Erastus was still at Corinth
(2 Tim 4:20), which would seem to have been his usual place of abode.”
8. “Trophimus” (4:20):
If you come across the mention of riots in your study of the Book of Acts, you
can expect the mention of Trophimus in either the
preceding or following passages. He is first mentioned after the riot at Ephesus when he, among a
few others, leaves the area with Paul (Acts 20:4). This happened during Paul’s
third missionary trip. Upon its completion, Paul brought Trophimus
with him to Jerusalem.
The non-believing Jews quickly identified him as a “Greek.” When Paul was at
they thought he had Trophimus with him and caused a
riot that resulted in Paul’s arrest (Acts 21:27-36). In this chapter, we read
that Trophimus fell ill and Paul had left him in Miletus
(2 Tim 4:20).
9. “You” (4:22): “As at the end of 1 Timothy,
‘you’ here is plural, showing that the letter wa intended for public use. The word “your” in the
first part of the verse, however, is singular, indicating that it was addressed
to Timothy alone.”
1. What is Paul’s main charge to Timothy?
2. What is the significance of the words “before God
and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His
appearing and His kingdom”? What does this say about Paul’s charge to Timothy?
3. When is a good time to preach the word?
4. What different approaches can we use in
preaching the word?
5. What does Paul warn Timothy about the
6. Why should we preach the word if we already
know that people will not endure sound doctrine? Wouldn’t our preaching be a
waste of time?
7a. What condition is described by “having itching ears” and
“heap up for themselves teachers”?
7b. How can we guard ourselves from falling into this tendency?
8. What attitudes should we have when we preach
the word? How do such attitudes relate to the condition described in verses
9. Do you believe that you have been entrusted
with the commission to preach the word? In what ways are you fulfilling your
10. Based on
Paul’s words, how would you describe Paul’s feeling as he comes to the end of
his life? What can you learn from this?
11a. What is Paul’s song of victory?
11b. What does Paul’s song of victory remind us about what a
Christian’s life should be?
11c. Do you view
your life as fighting the good fight, running the race, and keeping the faith?
How would you rate yourself right now?
12. Who are
those who love the Lord’s appearing? Are you one of them?
Mark’s history (See “Did You Know…”), what lesson can we learn from Paul’s
comment about him here?
14. What does
Paul ask Timothy to bring to him (13). What does this
15. How does
Paul demonstrate his quiet confidence in the Lord even though he has been
forsaken by others?
16. How did Paul
use his first defense (the first hearing in court) to continue his ministry?