O Timothy...Notes on Second Timothy
By Jerry D. Wilhite BA, MDiv, DMin
Second Timothy was the last of the 13 letters the Apostle Paul wrote. Paul was in Rome; Timothy was elsewhere. Paul was imprisoned; Timothy was free. Paul sensed that he was about to die (4:6), so he is writing to encourage this young preacher to take up where he himself leaves off. Apparently Paul had stood before the Roman Emperor Nero, but no one was there to encourage him (4:16), and in this setting discouragement and loneliness could easily take their toll. Paul, therefore, wanted Timothy to come quickly (4:9) especially since Demas had forsaken Paul (4:10). The Apostle was no doubt grateful that Luke, the beloved physician, was with him (4:11), and he anticipated Mark's visit who could also assist in the ministry.
Of note is Charles Spurgeon's comment on the book. "The second epistle to Timothy is remarkable as being probably the last which the apostle wrote; it contains dying advice, written in the immediate prospect of martyrdom. Looking forward calmly to the grave, and with the executioner's axe in the foreground, Paul pens this letter to his favorite disciple, and solemnly charges him to abide faithful unto death."
Whereas the first epistle to Timothy deals with his doctrine, this one concerns his personal conduct and behavior. It is good and necessary to have the right doctrine, but if one's life does not support one's doctrine, then there will be no audience of listeners.
Outline of the book:
- Timothy's Conversion (1:1-6)
- Timothy's Call (1:6-18)
- Timothy's Commission (2:1-26)
- Timothy's Community (3:1-9)
- Timothy's Comfort (3:10-17)
- Timothy's Charge (4:1-22)