On Sunday I began preaching through the second Timothy. In preparing for my opening message, I was intrigued of the reason why the letter was originally written.
On the outset, it is easy to pick up Timothy’s discouragement. The entire flavor of the epistle is to encourage Timothy on in the ministry. He wrote, “For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God within you … for God gave us a spirit not of timidity but of power and love and discipline” (2 Timothy 1:6-7). You can discern from these words how Paul is exhorting Timothy not to fear the difficulties that he’s facing, but to trust the Lord with them. Timothy needed Paul to guide him in his ministry.
But, that’s not all that’s going on in the letter. Paul’s situation is desperate as well. He’s in a Roman prison, soon to be killed for proclaiming the gospel. He’s lonely–only Luke is with him (4:11). He is cold–desiring his coat, which he left in Troas (4:13). He “longs” to see Timothy before he dies (1:4). He says, “Make every effort to come to me soon” (4:9). A few sentences later, he writes, “Make ever effort to come to me before winter.” Paul needed Timothy to encourage him in his final hours.
What a great display of how we need each other. Paul and Timothy’s needs were real. Timothy needed Paul and Paul needed Timothy. That’s why 2 Timothy was written.