2 Tim 4:6-18

Paul now gets far more personal. After having exhorted Timothy to be patient and to fulfill his service, he now writes about his imminent death in terms of an offering. Paul says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” He goes on: “The wreath of righteousness is reserved for me from now on that the Lord will award to me on that day.” In this case, he is not talking about the day he dies but the eschatological judgment in which Christ will judge the living and the dead in his second coming. Paul will be joined with everyone else who has longed for Christ’s return, and they, too, will receive the wreath of righteousness. Paul commands Timothy to hurry to come to him quickly, because he has been deserted. Demas left him for Thessalonica, Crescens for Galatia, and Titus for Dalmatia. It seems that Demas left a bit of a sour taste in Paul’s mouth, for he writes that he is in love with this present age and deserted him to go to Thessalonica. Paul says that Luke alone is with him. He instructs Timothy to bring with him several things. First, bring Mark. Paul says that Mark is useful for service to him. Second, bring the cloak that he left with Carpus in Troas. Paul later writes that winter is coming. He wants to keep warm, and this fact may be another reason why he tells Timothy to hurry to him. Finally, he instructs Timothy to bring some books, “especially the parchments.” We simply do not know exactly what he meant by the books and parchments, but clearly he wanted to read. Paul implores Timothy specifically to avoid Alexander the coppersmith who did great harm to him. Unlike Paul who will be awarded a wreath of righteousness, the Lord will award to Alexander according to his wicked deeds—for his strong opposition to Paul’s words. Demonstrating just how deserted he was, Paul mentions that no one came with him in his first defense, but he does not count it against them. He highlights that the Lord stood by him and strengthened him instead, so that his charge to preach the gospel might be fully proclaimed and the Gentiles might hear it. Paul says that he was delivered from the lion’s mouth as a result. Paul says that the Lord will rescue him from every evil deed, saving him for the kingdom. Finally, Paul gives all glory to God as a final declaration of the gospel.

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