2 Timothy 4:9-22 is a passage in the New Testament of the Bible that contains the last recorded words of the apostle Paul, who is writing a letter to Timothy, his younger colleague and fellow minister. In these verses, Paul encourages Timothy to persevere in his faith and to continue preaching the gospel, even in the face of opposition and persecution. He also reflects on his own life and ministry, and expresses his confidence in the future of the church.
In 2 Timothy 4:9-10, Paul urges Timothy to “do the work of an evangelist” and to “fully discharge the ministry” that has been entrusted to him. He encourages Timothy to be diligent and to “preach the word” in season and out of season, whether people are receptive to it or not. He tells Timothy that the time will come when people will not want to listen to the truth, and that they will turn to teachers who will tell them what they want to hear. But Timothy is to be faithful and to continue to proclaim the message of salvation through Jesus Christ.
In verses 11-13, Paul speaks of his own situation and the difficulties he has faced as a minister of the gospel. He tells Timothy that he has “fought the good fight,” and that he has “finished the race.” These are metaphorical expressions that refer to the challenges and hardships of Christian ministry. Paul is saying that he has persevered through many trials and has remained faithful to the end. He has “kept the faith,” meaning that he has remained true to his beliefs and has not abandoned his commitment to Christ.
In verses 14-16, Paul mentions several people who have helped him in his ministry and who have supported him in his work. He speaks of Luke, who is likely the author of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, and who was a close companion of Paul. He also mentions Demas, who has abandoned Paul and “turned to this present world,” perhaps meaning that he has forsaken his faith and has become more concerned with material things. Paul also speaks of Crescens, who has gone to Galatia, and Titus, who has gone to Dalmatia. These names are mentioned as examples of people who have been involved in Paul’s ministry and who have gone on to serve in other places.
In verses 17-18, Paul speaks of his own situation and the difficulties he is facing. He says that he is “in chains” and is facing “great opposition.” This may refer to the fact that Paul is in prison at the time he is writing this letter. He also mentions that the “lion” (probably a metaphor for persecution or danger) is waiting for him, which may mean that he is facing the possibility of execution. Despite these challenges, Paul remains confident in the Lord and in the power of the gospel. He says that “the Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom.”
In verses 19-21, Paul speaks of two more people who have helped him in his ministry: Priscilla and Aquila. These were a husband and wife who were fellow believers and who had worked with Paul in the past. Paul describes them as “my fellow workers in Christ Jesus,” meaning that they had partnered with him in spreading the gospel. He also mentions “the household of Onesiphorus,” who had been kind to Paul and had visited him while he was in prison.
Finally, in verse 22, Paul says that he is “ready to be offered” and that the “time of his departure” is at hand. This could be interpreted as meaning that Paul is preparing to die, either through execution or natural causes.
Overall, these final words of Paul to Timothy are a reminder of the importance of persevering in the faith and continuing to spread the good news of Jesus to others, even when faced with difficulties and opposition.