The first things that strikes me when reading this chapter is the love that Paul had for Timothy. On many occasions Paul referred to Timothy as his “son”, but in this chapter he calls him his “dearly beloved son.” I believe as a person’s life draws to a close they realize their true feelings. Paul loved Timothy. He was proud of him for the work he was doing, and would do.
We read in this chapter that Timothy had a very good upbringing. It is obvious that Timothy’s mother and grandmother were Christian women. They taught Timothy the ways of God from his childhood. This is something that is debated today. Some will argue that you should not force church on your children. “Let them make their own decisions about God”, many will say. I have even heard it said that if you push church on your children too much they will not want anything to do with God when they get older.
It was not this way in the life of Timothy. His mother and grandmother taught him the Bible as a youngster. I can picture as this godly mother held Timothy in her arms and read the scriptures to him, told him stories of how God had blessed their home, and how she was saved herself. This had an impact on Timothy’s life for the better, not the worse. The Bible teaches us to “bring up a child in the way they should go”. Then God makes a promise. If we bring our children up this way “when they are old they shall not depart from it.”
You have the right to choose the way you raise your kids. I’ll take my chances with God. What chances are you taking?
In verse 8 Paul tells Timothy not to be ashamed of the afflictions that have come to him. Paul was obviously suffering. He was in prison, and about to lose his head. Why? Did he commit some terrible crime? No, the reason Paul was suffering was because he performed the work God had him to do. God asked Paul to preach the gospel message, and that is what Paul did.
It was possible that this same affliction would come to Timothy. Lets face it. None of us like to suffer hardships. This is only natural. Jesus even prayed that if it was possible, God would let his “cup” pass from Him.
At the same time I don’t understand why so many people believe that once they are saved God will make life easy for them. Men even tell people from the pulpit that God will bless you with money, take your troubles away and even give you perfect health. The reason I don’t understand this message is because it is exactly the opposite of what Jesus taught.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Jesus even said that the world will not like you if you are a Christian.
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” John 15:18
At this moment Paul is in prison with a sentence of death upon him. In spite of his circumstances Paul was still not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, and he did not want Timothy to be ashamed.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16
In the last part of this chapter Paul names two individuals who have turned their backs on him. We do not know who these men were, but it is likely that they were leaders in the church who opposed Paul.
It is interesting that in 1 Timothy we are given a few names of people that had turned on Paul. Now in this letter all have turned on him. Paul is sitting in a prison about to die for preaching the gospel message and none other than Luke are with him. All have turned their backs on him. How sad. This reminds me of the Lord who went to the cross with only a handful of women by his side.