do your best to come before winter. eubulus sends greetings to you, as do pudens and linus and claudia and all the brothers. [2 timothy 4:21]
the first thing i notice in the closing remarks of this verse is that there were many in rome who cared about timothy. the four names mentioned here in verse 21 are mentioned no where else in the new testament scripture. an early church father named irenaeus, who lived from ad 140-198, mentions linus as an early church leader in rome. most biblical historians believe these four were not co-workers of paul but rather members of the church in rome. (other than luke, none of his co-workers were left in rome.) whoever they were, they cared about timothy. and by paul prominently mentioning them apart from “the brother” (the rest of the church), timothy probably cared about them as well.
the second thing i notice is that paul really wanted timothy to come “before winter”. he goes so far as to add … “do your best”. several things to note here. 1) this probably why paul asked for his cloak in vs 13. 2) paul knew traveling during winter was a no go in this part of the world. so, “do your best” means if you don’t make it by winter, it will be a while before you get here. 3) I think paul knew his trial was impending and what would surely follow would be his execution. (“the time of my departure has come.”) 4 ) i believe paul really wanted to see his beloved son in the faith, timothy, one more time. (“do your best to come to me soon.” vs 9)
timothy was valued and needed by eubulus, pudens, linus, claudia, and paul, to name a few.
and, I believe timothy valued and needed these brothers and sisters as well.
do you know that you are valued and needed in Christ’s body?
do you know that you value and need others in the Christ’s body?
those may sound like strange questions because they sound very subjective. being valued and needed sounds like something that cannot be true of every follower of Christ. it is! how do I know? glad you asked? read this passage and ask God to show you the truth of the value and need of each person in the body of Christ?
14 for the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 if the foot should say, “because i am not a hand, i do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 and if the ear should say, “because i am not an eye, i do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 if the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? if the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 but as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 if all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 as it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
21 the eye cannot say to the hand, “i have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “i have no need of you.” 22 on the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. but God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.
this text makes it clear, because you are part of the body of Christ, you are valued (vs 23) and needed (vs 21-22).
you are valued and needed in the body! and, …
you value and need others in the body!
as we saw yesterday, we are in a spiritual war. we are daily in a battle and part of God’s provision for his warriors, is other warriors. we need others battling with us. we have plenty of people and things battling against us! somebody say amen! what we need, what we desperately need is more people battling with us!
let’s go to battle right now in prayer.
- who needs you? pray for that person you are discipling, that son, that spouse, that friend. (whether you believe this or not, because of Christ you are valued too!)
- pray for God to give you more belief that because you are in Christ, you can be a dispenser of God’s grace and truth. pray you would have confidence in Christ to go to battle more often with them. pray for the courage to reach out and join them in battle.
- who do you need and value? pray now thanking God for them! pray now asking for the courage to encourage them! pray now for the courage to reach out and go to battle with them and for them.
Lord, it is often hard to believe we are valued and needed. in Christ, as part of his body, we are valued and needed. and, in Christ, as part of his body, we value and need others too. give us today, the courage and grace to love and go to battle with those we need and those who need us. in Jesus name, amen!
~ john ryan