The working farmer (2 Tim. 2:6)

“It is the farmer

Who does the work

Who ought to receive

The first share

Of the crops.”

τὸν κοπιῶντα γεωργὸν δεῖ πρῶτον τῶν καρπῶν μεταλαμβάνειν.

Paul said, “It is the farmer (γεωργὸν) who does the work (τὸν κοπιῶντα) who ought (δεῖ) to receive (μεταλαμβάνειν) the first share (πρῶτον) of the crops (τῶν καρπῶν).”  Next Paul turned to a farmer for a comparison.  Paul simply said that the hard-working farmer was entitled to have the first share of the crop, the first fruits of harvest.  This was a reminder that the owner should share his crop with the workers.  Do you share your wealth with others who work for you?

Follow the rules (2 Tim. 2:5)

“In the case of

Competing athletes,

No one is crowned

Without competing

According to the rules.”

ἐὰν δὲ καὶ ἀθλῇ τις, οὐ στεφανοῦται ἐὰν μὴ νομίμως ἀθλήσῃ.

Paul said, “In the case of a competing athletes (ἐὰν δὲ καὶ ἀθλῇ τις), no one is crowned (οὐ στεφανοῦται) without competing according to the rules (ἐὰν μὴ νομίμως ἀθλήσῃ).”  Only this letter to Timothy used these unique words ἀθλῇ and ἀθλήσῃ, that mean to contend, wrestle, engage, or compete in an athletic contest, as well as the word νομίμως, that means rightly or lawfully.  Paul made the comparison of a Christian to a competing athlete.  No one is a winner or crowned as the winner, if they have not rightfully followed the rules of the contest.  In other words, you will not win a competition if you cheat.  You had to follow the rules of the competition.  So too, the Christian had to follow the rules of Christianity if they wanted to successfully complete their human life course.  Do you follow the Christian rules in your life?

Aim to please the officers (2 Tim. 2:4)

“No one serving

In the army

Gets entangled

In everyday affairs.

The soldier’s aim

Is to please

The enlisting officers.”

οὐδεὶς στρατευόμενος ἐμπλέκεται ταῖς τοῦ βίου πραγματείαις, ἵνα τῷ στρατολογήσαντι ἀρέσῃ.

Paul said, “No one serving in the army (οὐδεὶς στρατευόμενος) gets entangled (ἐμπλέκεται) in everyday affairs (ταῖς τοῦ βίου πραγματείαις).  The soldier’s aim is to please (ἀρέσῃ) the enlisting officers (ἵνα τῷ στρατολογήσαντι).”  Only this letter to Timothy used this unique word ἐμπλέκεται, that means to weave in, to entwine, to involve with, or entangle, and the word πραγματείαις, that means careful application, hard work, a business, an occupation, an affair, or transactions, as well as the word στρατολογήσαντι, that means to enlist soldiers, an army, or enlisted troops.  Paul indicated that Timothy should keep his focus on what counted.  Anyone serving in the army does not get involved in everyday matters.  His sole aim is to please his commanding officers.  In other words, Timothy should keep his eye on the prize, and not get bogged down in everyday mundane affairs.  He was a leader in the army of Jesus Christ.  He had to follow the lead of his commanding officer.  In this case, it was Paul himself.  Do you get too involved in mundane everyday affairs?

Share in suffering (2 Tim. 2:3)

“Share in suffering

Like a good soldier

Of Jesus Christ.”

συνκακοπάθησον ὡς καλὸς στρατιώτης Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ.

Paul said, “Share in suffering (συνκακοπάθησον) like a good soldier (ὡς καλὸς στρατιώτης) of Jesus Christ (Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ).”  Only this letter to Timothy used this unique word συνκακοπάθησον, that means to bear evil treatment along with or suffer hardships together.  Paul wanted Timothy to suffer with others like a good solder of Jesus Christ.  Paul was going to use the example of people who suffered like a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer.  They all suffered with others.  The followers of Jesus Christ were to suffer together with their fellow Christians just like a good soldier in time of war suffers.  However, Timothy was a soldier for Jesus Christ.  Do you consider yourself a soldier of Jesus Christ?

Teach other people to teach (2 Tim. 2:2)

“What you have heard

From me

Through many witnesses


To faithful people

So that they would be

Sufficient enough

To teach others.”

καὶ ἃ ἤκουσας παρ’ ἐμοῦ διὰ πολλῶν μαρτύρων, ταῦτα παράθου πιστοῖς ἀνθρώποις, οἵτινες ἱκανοὶ ἔσονται καὶ ἑτέρους διδάξαι.

Paul said, “What you have heard (καὶ ἃ ἤκουσας) from me (παρ’ ἐμοῦ) through many witnesses (διὰ πολλῶν μαρτύρων), entrust this (ταῦτα παράθου) to faithful believing men (πιστοῖς ἀνθρώποις) so that they would be sufficient enough (οἵτινες ἱκανοὶ ἔσονται) to teach others (καὶ ἑτέρους διδάξαι).”  Paul made it clear what he was expecting.  Timothy was to pass along to other faithful believing Christians what he had heard from Paul and many other witnesses.  Timothy was to do this in such a way that these other Christians would be adequately trained to teach others.  It was not good enough that Timothy himself should teach well.  Paul wanted Timothy to develop a number of other Christian teachers to teach still other people.  Paul envisioned a Christian community with many teachers.  Have you ever tried to teach others about Jesus Christ?

Be strong! (2Tim. 2:1)

“You then,

My child!

Be strong

In the grace

That is in Christ Jesus.”

Σὺ οὖν, τέκνον μου, ἐνδυναμοῦ ἐν τῇ χάριτι τῇ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ,

Paul said, “You then (Σὺ οὖν), my child (τέκνον μου)!  Be strong (ἐνδυναμοῦ)in the grace (ἐν τῇ χάριτι) that is in Christ Jesus (τῇ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ).”  Paul wanted Timothy to be strong.  He called him his child, as if he was his spiritual father.  He wanted Timothy to be strong in the grace of Jesus Christ.  We all want to have the grace of Jesus Christ.  Are you strong in the grace of Jesus Christ?

Mercy for Onesiphorus (2 Tim. 1:18)

“May the Lord

Grant that Onesiphorus

Will find mercy

From the Lord

On that day!

You know very well

How much service

He rendered

In Ephesus.”

δῴη αὐτῷ ὁ Κύριος εὑρεῖν ἔλεος παρὰ Κυρίου ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ·— καὶ ὅσα ἐν Ἐφέσῳ διηκόνησεν, βέλτιον σὺ γινώσκεις.

Paul said, “May the Lord (ὁ Κύριος) grant (δῴη) that Onesiphorus (αὐτῷ) will find mercy (εὑρεῖν ἔλεος) from the Lord (παρὰ Κυρίου) on that day (ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ)!  You know (σὺ γινώσκεις) very well (βέλτιον) how much (καὶ ὅσα) service he rendered (διηκόνησεν) in Ephesus (ἐν Ἐφέσῳ).”  Only this letter to Timothy used this unique word βέλτιον, that means better or very well.  Then Paul asked that the Lord would grant Onesiphorus mercy on the last judgment day.  Paul explained that Timothy knew very well how much service Onesiphorus had rendered in Ephesus.  Thus, they both knew the importance of Onesiphorus, but he does not seem to be with Paul or Timothy, when Paul was writing this letter to Timothy.  He wanted Timothy to pray for him.  This almost sounds like Onesiphorus had died, but it is not clear.  Do you pray for dead people?

Onesiphorus in Rome (1 Tim. 1:17)

“When Onesiphorus

Arrived in Rome,

He eagerly searched

For me

And found me.”

ἀλλὰ γενόμενος ἐν Ῥώμῃ σπουδαίως ἐζήτησέν με καὶ εὗρεν·—

Paul said, “When Onesiphorus arrived (ἀλλὰ γενόμενος) in Rome (ἐν Ῥώμῃ), he eagerly searched for me (σπουδαίως ἐζήτησέν με) and found me (καὶ εὗρεν).”  Paul said that Onesiphorus came to Rome.  Then he had to search for Paul before he found him.  Paul was in prison and everyone had more or less abandoned him.  Onesiphorus may have come from Ephesus to Rome to help Paul while he was in prison. However, he had to search long and hard until he found him.  Thus, Onesiphorus was openly showing his loyalty to Paul under some adverse situations.  Do you have a friend that has been very loyal to you in bad situations?

The household of Onesiphorus (2 Tim. 1:16)

May the Lord

Grant mercy

To the household

Of Onesiphorus,

Because he often refreshed me.

He was not ashamed

Of my chains.”

δῴη ἔλεος ὁ Κύριος τῷ Ὀνησιφόρου οἴκῳ, ὅτι πολλάκις με ἀνέψυξεν, καὶ τὴν ἅλυσίν μου οὐκ ἐπαισχύνθη,

Paul said, May the Lord (ὁ Κύριος) grant mercy (δῴη ἔλεος) to the household of Onesiphorus (τῷ Ὀνησιφόρου οἴκῳ), because he often refreshed me (ὅτι πολλάκις με ἀνέψυξεν).  He was not ashamed (οὐκ ἐπαισχύνθη) of my chains (καὶ τὴν ἅλυσίν μου).”  Only this letter to Timothy used this unique word ἀνέψυξεν, that means to refresh, revive, or comfort.  Paul referred here to Onesiphorus and his family or household.  Both Paul and Timothy may have known Onesiphorus and his family at Ephesus.  A household church may have been in his home.  Paul mentioned this household again in chapter: 4:19, where Paul asked Timothy to greet the household of Onesiphorus in Ephesus.  Was Onesiphorus still with Paul in Rome or had he died?  It is not clear.  Onesiphorus had been kind to Paul in the past by comforting him.  In fact, Onesiphorus was not ashamed of Paul’s chains in prison.  Thus, he visited Paul in Rome as the next verse indicates.  Some traditions indicate that he may have been one of the original seventy disciples of Jesus and the later leader or bishop of the church at Corinth, but that is unclear.  Is there some family that has been good to you?

The Asians have turned away from me (2 Tim. 1:15)

“You are aware

That all who are in Asia

Have turned away from me,

Including Phygelus

And Hermogenes.”

Οἶδας τοῦτο, ὅτι ἀπεστράφησάν με πάντες οἱ ἐν τῇ Ἀσίᾳ, ὧν ἐστιν Φύγελος καὶ Ἑρμογένης.

Paul said, “You are aware (Οἶδας τοῦτο) that all who are in Asia (πάντες οἱ ἐν τῇ Ἀσίᾳ) have turned away from me (ὅτι ἀπεστράφησάν με), including Phygelus (ὧν ἐστιν Φύγελος) and Hermogenes (καὶ Ἑρμογένης).”  Asia in the Roman Empire was the southwestern part of Asia Minor or what is now Turkey today.  Paul once again exaggerated when he said that all of Asia had turned against him.  Obviously, not all the people in Asia, since Timothy and his community at Ephesus was in Asia or Asia Minor.  Nothing more is known about Phygelus and Hermogenes, except what is here.  This is the only mention of them in the canonical New Testament literature.  They appear to have been Christians who turned against Paul.  Paul was once again complaining about those who had turned their back on Jesus Christ with false teachings.  Has someone turned against you?