Table of contents
Like a good detective, let's examine this book.
Paul has been imprisoned again and knows the end is near. He is writing to Timothy to send last encouragements and hoping for one final visit before the end. Paul speaks on various things but ends with the joy of the life to come. You can almost hear the weariness in Paul's voice as he looks back on his life and says that he has finished his race. He also ends his letter with the practical concern of wondering if Timothy can bring his cloak. It's such an honor to hear from this man of God during the last days of his life. The old man is still strong in his faith. He encourages Timothy and all of us to stay strong, no matter what.
🔍 Things to Notice
- This is Paul's final letter.
- Notice Paul's mental state. Tired but joyful.
- Practical concerns
🙏 Jesus in this Book
(Every book reveals the glory of God, revealed in Christ Jesus)
- The Leader of leaders
- Paul's passing the ministry torch
- Saying goodbye
- Stay faithful
Who wrote it: The Apostle Paul
Martyred: Killed by Nero between 62 and 64 A.D. He beheaded. There were many more gruesome ways to die so this was considered a merciful death for a Roman citizen.
Who is the original audience: Timothy. Young Pastor of the church in Ephesus. According to church legend, Timothy died in 97 AD because he was trying to stop a parade that celebrated a false god. The angry pagans beat him, dragged him through the street, and stoned him to death. He was 80 years old.
Where are we: Paul is sitting in a dark prison cell prepared for the condemned Caesar.
When was it written: Just before his death in 67 AD.
What is the big idea: Paul and the Christians will take the blame for the burning of Rome. Nero uses the Christians as a way to deflect blame. Paul, as a church leader, is re-arrested and condemned. Peter will day about the same time. As a non-Roman citizen, Peter will not be afforded the quick Roman death of beheading. This final letter is the last word in being the kind of leader worth following.
Why is this book important: This letter has probably come about 4 years after the first one to Timothy. Hardship has come to the Christian church. Paul is encouraging Timothy to stand firm and not give in to the changing tides. Paul is also showing us how to finish well and not give in with the race drawing to an end.
How can I apply it?: While it would be easy to say this letter is recommended to learn great leadership, I would recommend another angle. Paul is teaching us how to finish well. Paul has been through so many trials, troubles, and tribulations. It would be easy for him to become jaded or frustrated with people. But, he is still encouraging Timothy to go all in and be the type of leader worth following.
Quick Thoughts on Each Chapter
In Paul’s second letter to the young pastor Timothy we can see Paul is nearing the end of his life. We can read a sense of urgency throughout this letter. Paul knows the end of his life is drawing near, yet he wants to encourage Timothy to keep going. Paul reminds us in v14 that the power of the Holy Spirit lives with.
“work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive His approval.” This is not earning salvation. If taken within context, Paul is instructing a young pastor to work hard at what God has given Him to do so he can do his job well. This is not about God accepting Timothy. It would be the same idea as the boss coming around at the end of shift and saying the job was done well or if improvements are needed. His job is not in jeopardy.
V16-17- All scripture is “breathed out” by God. This is speaking of the Old and New Testament. Everyone of the 66 books came from God. If you do a careful study of how we got the Bible, only miracles can explain it. I heard one of the foremost scholars say tongue-in-cheek, “The way the Bible came to be in miraculous. It’s almost like someone was orchestrating the whole thing.”
When reading about preaching God’s Word, it paints a very different picture than we sometimes see today. God’s Word is powerful and is our source for knowing God. This means it will often tell us about the areas that hold us back. The most loving thing to do to any prisoner is to point out the chain and then hand them the key.