Monday, July 22, 2013

The Personal Dimension (2Timothy 4:9-22)

These personal passages of Paul are always some of my favorites. This one in particular seems to lay the curtain back more than others, but at the same time it simply exposes how much remains hidden. Paul discusses people and circumstances with Timothy who has enough context to understand things that we can never hope to. We sometimes find ourselves wanting more.

Of course, there is nothing more that would benefit us by knowing, or that is what we are to trust. As with everything else, we want to know more for the sake of knowing. We would like to see more of what Paul was like. Hear more of the circumstances that caused him to write these things. But that is never the point. What Paul has written in this letter that has survived for us to read is there for us to learn things that apply to us in whatever age and whatever place we find ourselves.

Here we get to see, if nothing else, that Paul and his contemporaries are a lot more like us than we might imagine Paul had problems, conflicts, enemies attacking him, friends leaving him behind—for good or perhaps bad reasons. He had struggles, he had fears. But in everything he kept his focus on the things that mattered.

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