Listen On:
A Passion Daily Journey Through 2 Timothy

2 Timothy 4:19-22 // Round 20 // Ben Stuart

Ben Stuart
8 min

OK, we are at round 20 of 20 days in 2 Timothy, congratulations. Let’s wrap up this journey together by looking at Paul’s community of faith and may it inspire our own. So looking at 2 Timothy Chapter four, verse 19, he says to Timothy, greet Prisca and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus. 

Prisca and Aquila are well worth your time to research in the Bible. They are a couple that show up in Acts Chapter 18. In Acts 18, we find out that they had to flee Rome because the emperor saw a disturbance and kicked all the Jews out. It’s actually, most commentators believe, one of the first extra biblical references to Jesus Christ. We have writings of the emperor doing this, kicking Jews out because of the disturbance around a man named Christus that you saw Priscilla and Aquila had to flee Rome, arrive in Corinth, and as they did so, they tented. They set up their tent making business, their leather making business, and they housed a young single guy named Paul. And Prisca and Aquila ministered alongside Paul in Corinth, and then they moved with him to Ephesus. And as they moved to Ephesus, Paul moved on but they stayed. And they were able to minister to and lead to Christ a young preacher named Apollos who Paul will reference and several of his letters as being a better preacher than Paul. 

And it’s interesting, as Paul writes his letters later in his life, you see him bring them up as he writes to the Corinthians. He says, say hi to Aquila and Prisca and the church that meets in their house. They were in Ephesus, and the church was meeting in their home. You see in Romans 16, he name drops them again that they were able eventually to make it back to Rome, and the church at Rome was meeting in their house. 

And here it’s beautiful. Paul, at the end of his life, sees his own life fading away and he looks at his young protege Timothy, and sitting next to Timothy are Prisca and Aquila, faithfully continuing to minister all the way to the end now a long time, beside Timothy. I love Prisca and Aquila’s faithfulness. That their home, their business, their life was a place of ministry for Paul, Apollos, and Timothy. 

And I’ve gotta to tell you for me in ministry, there have been many couples that did that. Hosted Bible studies in their homes, had prayer groups in their homes. I don’t know if you don’t maybe feel like you’re the best preacher in the world or a stage presence you don’t have to be to touch the world. Corinth, Ephesus, Rome. All these different cities were influenced through the faithfulness of this married couple that were willing to offer their homes and businesses and lives to the Lord. 

So, he says, greet them and Onesiphorus’ household, Onesiphorus who had served me when I was in trouble, greet their family. He says in verse 20, Erastus remained at Corinth. I left Trophimus, who was ill at Miletus. Trophimus was the guy who traveled with Paul to Jerusalem and if you recall, they saw Paul with a Greek assumed he brought him into the temple and arrested Paul and led him to Rome, so drove him this was part of some crazy days with Paul. Interestingly, gets pulled into an interesting debate in this passage because Paul had to leave Trophimus because he was ill. 

You get the sense there that Paul, who could miraculously heal illnesses, wasn’t able to heal at will. If he was, he would have just healed Trophimus. But it’s God who allows healing to occur through us. It’s God who works through us in power. When you see powerful things happen, we don’t get to control it, but we have a God who loves to use us as conduits of his grace. And yet in this moment, Paul had to leave Trophimus and Miletus. 

But then, in verse 21, he says to Timothy, Do your best to come before winter. Winter was hard to travel, and Paul here sees his life at the end and he tells his best, Timothy, do your best to come and see me. Eubulus sends greetings to you, there’s a couple of those guys in the Bible, Paul mentions we’re not sure if they’re all the same guy. As do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brothers. Paul shouts out, there’s a community of faith advancing the gospel here in Rome. There always is a light in the darkness and Paul sees the community advancing the gospel, they all say hello, and then he ends with the Lord be with your spirit, grace be with you. 

And I love that because it’s a little confusing in English because you can be singular and plural. But Paul here says the Lord, be with your spirit and the your there is singular. He’s talking to Timothy. May the Lord be with you, Timothy. As you raise up leaders in Ephesus, preach the word and then give the ministry to them and come see me. But then that last statement grace be with you, that you is plural. It’s a y’all. And what you get at the end here is we’re never meant to live in isolation. That Paul here says to Timothy, who he has written this letter to, this very personal letter, hey, Timothy, the Lord be with your spirit. And then he says, and grace me with all, y’all, because he assumes Timothy is going to share this with this community.

Because at the end of the day, that’s how we advance the gospel. We do it together. 

So this has been such an amazing journey together through the scripture. And if I can encourage you again with the points that Paul brings up over and over again, he does it here. It’s by God’s grace, the Lord, be with you, his grace be with you. It’s by God’s grace. We serve faithfully. We suffer for the gospel. We move it forward. We continue to excel at the ministry, put in our hands by the grace of God we faithfully deliver the word. We protect the word of God that was breathed out on a page and handed to us, and we deliver it to the young people among us, those who are able to teach it to others. And we do the work of an evangelist to those who don’t know God. To the end of our days we faithfully, by God’s grace, deliver God’s word to people until that day, we see him face to face. Because our king that inaugurated our salvation will complete it. The Jesus who gave his life for us will one day break the clouds and come to see us, and we will forever be with the Lord and we comfort each other with those words. 

So here, Paul at the end, is not discouraged by his prison cell. He sees beyond it to a God who’s appearing he loves and in whose presence he will be crowned because he was faithful to the end. And he calls Timothy in his community to do the same. 

Get around some people who will run together, flee youthful lust, pursue righteousness, along with those who call out of a pure heart. And then by the grace of God, always working in your life faithfully in season and out of season, deliver the word of God to a dying world until that God brings us home. 

And let me encourage you to do that. This book would take you maybe 10 minutes to read in its entirety. So now that we finish this journey together, let me encourage you go back and read the letter over again just in one sitting. That’s normally how people read letters. And so read it all together and remember what you learned along this process and then ask the Lord what’s popping out to me? What’s one thing I can change today? Maybe it’s I’m gonna dive deeper into my church community. I’m going to really invest in my Bible study group. Hey, we’re going to take all that we’ve learned, and we’re going to share it with some other people. I’ve had the benefit of learning this word. Who am I going to pass it along to? Maybe I go on this journey again, but invite three or four of my friends that we study it together. How do I take the word into me and then cast it out into the world to continue to faithfully learn God’s word and distribute it to God’s world until we see him face to face. 

That’s my hope that what I’ve entrusted to you, you’ll entrust to others. That’s what Paul did to Timothy. That’s what my mentors have done to me. That’s what I hope you will continue to do so on and on, a wake of blessing will just pour out behind us until the day we see our king face to face. Love you. So proud of you for going on this journey. Cheering you on. Praying for you. And I don’t know. Maybe we’ll see you again. Take care.

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