the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
Grant's Commentary on the Bible Grant's Commentary
- 2 Timothy
by L.M. Grant
This is the last of all Paul's writings, and as his very life was about to be poured out in martyrdom for Christ's sake, so he pours out his heart to his beloved child Timothy in a way we could not expect in any but a personal epistle. There is a simplicity and reality here that is beautiful. For while he keenly felt such sorrows as having all in Asia turn away from him (ch. 1:15), others by false doctrine overthrowing the faith of some (ch. 2:17, 18), and even those closer forsaking him when he stood before the Roman Emperor (ch. 4:10, 16); yet the calm triumph of faith shines out radiantly in all this epistle, as the imprisoned apostle seeks with a full heart to encourage his younger fellow laborer, who had evidently allowed himself to become discouraged because of the pressure of such things.
The first epistle has shown us the responsibility of the individual as to his behavior in connection with the house of God, the assembly, while as yet its order was properly maintained. But this second epistle uses the term "a great house" rather than "the house of God"; and plainly teaches personal responsibility and provision for faith when disorder has invaded the church in so public a way as to cause divisions and separations - doctrinal and moral evil having been introduced by men, so that separation from this becomes imperative if one is to maintain faith and a good conscience. Doubtless both Paul and Timothy were made to feel the loneliness of this, for Paul, ready to be martyred for Christ's sake, did not enjoy the tender sympathies and fellowship of the saints; and this itself no doubt afflicted the heart of Timothy. Yet the vibrant, triumphant joy of the apostle far outweighs the loneliness, and is itself the sweetest encouragement for the younger man. May we all drink deeply at this fountain, so refreshing, so revitalizing.