2 Timothy 4:9-13 Commentary



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2 Timothy 4:9-13 Commentary

2Timothy 4:9  Make every effort (2SAMM) to come  (AAN) to me soon; (NASB: Lockman)
Greek: Spoudason (2SAMM) elthein (AAN) pros me tacheos; 
BBE:  Do your best to come to me before long:
GWT: Hurry to visit me soon. (
KJV: Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:
Phillips: Do your best to come to me as soon as you can. (
Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest:  Do your best to come to me quickly (
Young's Literal: Be diligent to come unto me quickly,


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2 Timothy 4:1-8 Step #10 Passion
2 Timothy 2 Passing the Torch of Leadership
2 Timothy 4 Commentary
2 Timothy 4:6-22
2 Timothy 4 Commentary
2 Timothy 4:9-21: Overcoming Loneliness
2 Timothy 4 Commentary
2 Timothy 4 Cambridge Bible Commentary
2 Timothy 4:9-11:: A Real Race  Part 1
2 Timothy 4:11-13: A Real Race - Part 2
2 Timothy 4:14-22: Real Race In A Real World w Real People 3
2 Timothy 4 Commentary
2 Timothy 4:9-22 Facing Life's Winter

2 Timothy: Expository Notes
2 Timothy 4:6-18 Paul Before Caesar

2 Timothy 4:10 Loving The Wrong World

2 Timothy 4:13 Books and the Book

2 Timothy 4:21 Come Before Winter

2 Timothy 4:1-22
2 Timothy 4:9-15 Friends and Enemies  Mp3
2 Timothy 4:16-22 Alone but Never Alone Mp3
2 Timothy 4:9-22 I'll Never Walk Alone
2 Timothy 4 Commentary
2 Timothy: How we should Encourage each other
2 Timothy Call to Completion
2 Timothy 4 Notes
2 Timothy Commentary - Expositor's Greek Testament
2 Timothy Commentary
2 Timothy 4 Commentary
2 Timothy 4 Sermon Notes
2 Timothy 4 Commentary
2 Timothy Commentary
2 Timothy 4:9-21How To Grow Through Loneliness
2 Timothy 4:9-22 When No One Stands By You - But God

2 Timothy Commentary
2 Timothy 4:9-12 Snapshots of Six Soldiers

2 Timothy 4:13-18 On Remand
2 Timothy 4:19-22 Just a Last Few Lines

2 Timothy 4 Commentary (J J Van Oosterzee)
2 Timothy 4 Commentary (International Critical Commentary)
2 Timothy 4:9-22 Friends and Foes

2 Timothy 4:10, 11 Demas, Luke, Mark

2 Timothy 4:13 Paul's Dying Confidence
2Timothy 4:6-22 Finishing Well

2 Timothy 4:9-22  Mp3's
2 Timothy 4:1-18 Paul's Last Words
2 Timothy 4:9-22 I Need Help with My Loneliness
2 Timothy 4:17-18: The Lord Stood by Me
2 Timothy 4:9-22 Come Before Winter

2 Timothy 4 Commentary
2 Timothy 4: Greek Word Studies
2 Timothy 4:9-22 Problems: Loneliness

2 Timothy 4:10 Demas

2 Timothy 4:10 Quitting
2 Timothy 4:9-22 Final Words
2 Timothy 4:10 Apostasy of Demas
2 Timothy 4:16, 17 Sermon Notes

Expository Outline of Paul's Second Epistle to Timothy
2 Timothy 4 Speaker's Commentary
2 Timothy 4 Exposition
2 Timothy 4:13 Paul—his Cloak and His Books

2 Timothy 4:20 The Sick Man Left Behind
2 Timothy 4:9-22: The End of the Road
2 Timothy 4:6-7; 4:6-8; 4:6-8
2 Timothy 4 Commentary
2 Timothy 4: Greek Word Studies
2 Timothy download lesson 1 of 13

MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO COME TO ME SOON: Spoudason (2SAMM) elthein (AAN) pros me tacheos: (2Ti 4:21; 1:4)

Other translations - Do your best to come to me before long (BBE)

Make every effort (4704) (spoudazo [word study] from spoude [word study] = earnestness, diligence) means to do something hurriedly, with the implication of associated energy and readiness to expend that energy.

Spoudazo - 11x in 11v - Gal 2:10; Eph 4:3; 1 Thess 2:17; 2 Tim 2:15; 4:9, 21; Titus 3:12; Heb 4:11; 2 Pet 1:10, 15; 3:14. NAS = diligent(6), eager(2), make every effort(3).

Spoudazo speaks primarily of an attitude which is associated with or which leads to action. To hasten to. To hurry to. To do quickly. To use speed, make effort, be prompt, be earnest. To manifest zealous persistence to accomplish an objective. Hurry and get here (Timothy)! Earnestly endeavour (Timothy)!

Like a commanding general to his junior officers, Paul gives this command (aorist imperative), which conveys a sense of urgency. Do this now! Don't delay! Why? From the context we know that Paul is about to die and that he is writing presumably from a cold, dark, dank dungeon in Rome, so that is natural that he would long for the presence of his beloved son (2Ti 1:2-note), his true child in the faith (1Ti 1:2). The immediate reason for Paul's desire to see Timothy is most clearly explained by the preposition for in the next verse.

It is worth noting that while Paul did not depend on others to meet his needs (cp Php 4:11, 12-note, Php 4:13-note), he did desire the companionship and encouragement of other like-minded believers. Timothy especially would be a tremendous source of refreshment to his wearied soul during the last days of his earthly life.

If you've ever been deserted by someone you considered faithful (cp Demas below) you know how Paul must have felt. Seeing Timothy would affirm that he was still fighting the good fight of faith and had not deserted the ranks.

Napoleon Bonaparte was a man who sought greatness, but ended his life imprisoned because the peace of the world demanded it. In prison he had the remembrance of homes and cities that he had wrecked in pursuit of world conquest. His efforts shed rivers of blood. As he came to the end of his life, the saddest words Napoleon ever uttered were...

I wonder if there is anyone in the world who really loves me?

A man is truly fortunate in this life if he has a few friends on whom he can utterly rely. In our day and age this is a rare thing. We are all so rushed, rushing to work and back to family. Our plates are "full", and we often have no time to seek after and cultivate true friendship as we should. But Paul was blessed, for he had men like his beloved son Timothy, his kindred spirit (Php 2:20-note), his "equal soul" and "like mind", one who was activated by the same motives as he was and who was of proven worth having served with Paul in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father. (Php 2:22-note) And so Paul desired to see his precious brother during his last hours on earth.

Wuest has a helpful note writing that...

After his swift glance down the years of his strenuous life, Paul turns to his present circumstances. He is a prisoner in a cold, Roman dungeon, awaiting his second trial before Nero, and death. Great soul that he was, he yet needed and craved human fellowship and sympathy in his hour of trial. How this reminds us of the Man of Sorrows who needed the fellowship and sympathy of the inner circle, Peter, James, and John, in His hour of trial in Gethsemane. How real a Man He was, yet all the time Very God. Paul writes to Timothy, “Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me.” The words, “do thy diligence,” in the Greek have the idea of “make haste, exert every effort,” and can be translated “do your best. (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans or Logos)

Soon (5030) (tacheos gives us our word "tachometer") means quickly, without delay. Paul was eager to see him, which once again counters the criticism that Paul was not a "people person". Once can be a scholar and still love people.


2Timothy 4:10  for Demas, having loved (AAPMSN)  this present world, has deserted (3SAAI) me and gone (3SAPI)  to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: Demas gar me egkatelipen (3SAAI) agapesas (AAPMSN) ton nun aiona, kai eporeuthe (3SAPI) eis Thessaloniken, Kreskes eis Galatian, Titos eis Dalmatian;
BBE: For Demas has gone away from me, for love of this present life, and has gone to Thessalonica: Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.
KJV: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
GWT: Demas has abandoned me. He fell in love with this present world and went to the city of Thessalonica. Crescens went to the province of Galatia, and Titus went to the province of Dalmatia.
Phillips: Demas, loving this present world, I fear, has left me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus is away in Dalmatia. (
Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest:   for Demas let me down, having set a high value upon this present age and thus has come to love it. And he set out for Thessalonica, Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia.  (
Young's Literal: for Demas forsook me, having loved the present age, and went on to Thessalonica, Crescens to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia,

FOR DEMAS HAVING LOVED THIS PRESENT WORLD: agaphesas (AAPMSN) ton nun aiona: (Col 4:14,15; Philemon 1:24) (loved = Lk 9:61;62 14:26 27 33; 16:13; 17:32; Php 2:21; 1Ti 6:10; 1Jn 2:15 16; 5:4 5:5)

He fell in love with this present world  (GWT),


for Demas let me down, having set a high value upon this present age and thus has come to love it. (Wuest).

The NAS misses Paul's emphasis because the first words in the Greek sentence are "he left me", followed by the explanation of why Demas deserted. But first Paul wanted to emphasize his desertion.

In these last verses, Paul singles out the names of various faithful and unfaithful men. We can always learn from the examples of others, either what to emulate or what to avoid.

Demas is mentioned only three times in the New Testament...


Philemon 1:24 AD 60-62 ...Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow workers
Colossians  4:14 AD 60-62 Luke, the beloved physician, sends you his greetings, and also Demas
2Timothy 4:10 AD 67 Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica

Demas goes from "fellow worker" to simply "Demas" to lover of "this present world"! The first two mentions were during Paul's first imprisonment and the last here in Timothy during his second imprisonment in Rome.

The lure of the world became irresistible to Demas, and he abandoned both Paul and the ministry. We see here the basic principle taught by our Lord Jesus during His earthly ministry that

"No one (absolutely no one) can serve (present tense = as a lifestyle) two masters (kurios = absolute ownership and control); for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot (as a lifestyle or continually) serve God and mammon (wealth, possessions)." (Mt 6:24-note)

Jesus had His Judas, and Paul had his Demas. Anyone who has been in the ministry long enough has shared in that heartbreaking experience.  Isn't it interesting and somewhat comforting to note that even the two greatest leaders the world has ever known had those who failed them. In a similar manner, anyone who has been a Christian long enough has known the heartache and sense of loss when some mentor or leader who for whatever reason chooses to abandon the faith and fall in love with the world.

Every saint, be he pastor or pew member, needs to remember this passage, so he is aware of the potential for those who, while ostensibly steadfast and faithful, choose to forsake in the hour of need. If this has happened to you, beloved, remember that Jesus is able to sympathize, for in His hour of greatest need His disciples all left Him and fled. (Mark 14:50)  and

since He Himself was tempted (and tested) in that which He has suffered, He is (continually ready and) able to come to the aid (upon hearing the cry for help) of those who are (continually being) tempted (and tested). (Heb 2:18-note)

Loved (25) (agapao related to noun agape [word study]) speaks of a love not from affection but based on a decision of the will rather than the emotions. When used in a good sense agapao pictures an unconditional, sacrificial type of love. (eg, God's love for sinful mankind - Jn 3:16)

In the present context the object of Demas' agapao love is this present world which elsewhere Paul describes as this present evil age (aion) (Gal 1:4). Agapao is used of husbands who are commanded to love their wives (Eph 5:25- note; present imperative = command to do this continually - Just try to obey this command in your own strength!) -- this demands death to self, denial of self, dependence on the Spirit (Ep 5:18-note; present imperative = command to be continually filled/controlled by the Spirit) -- Demas was unwilling to deny self, instead desiring to gratify self.

Matthew Henry wrote that

The love of this world, is often the cause of turning back from the truths and ways of Jesus Christ. (cp 1Ti 6:9)

Present (3568) (nun) marks a definite point or period of time, the (objective) immediate present in antithesis to something future. Demas chose to live for the present not the future. What "time" are you living for dear reader? It makes an eternal difference!

Literally the Greek says the "now world" -- what a contrast with the "then world" -- the first will pass, the second will last!

World (165) (aion [word study]) has both a time and an ethical connotation. In the present context the meaning of aion is primarily the ethical sense which parallels the ethical/moral use of kosmos ("world") in 1Jn 2:15 (cp Jas 4:4-note)

Present World - This refers to the present sinful age, the world system or the invisible spiritual system of evil dominated by Satan “the god of this world" (2Cor 4:4), and in opposition to God, His Word, and His people. It is a seductive system that appeals to all people, believers as well as unbelievers, and calls for our affection, participation, and loyalty. Satan controls this system, and believers should shun it. Demas did not.

World in context represents the sum of the demonic-human philosophy of life and corresponds to the spirit of the age. It represents the popular culture and manner of thinking that is in rebellion against God and which will try to conform us to its ungodly pattern, and that process must be resisted. Demas could not resist the attraction of the age in which he lived.

Trench has written that aion is

that floating mass of thoughts, opinions, maxims, speculations, hopes, impulses, aims, aspirations, at any time current in the world, which it may be impossible to seize and accurately define, but which constitute a most real and effective power, being the moral, or immoral atmosphere which at every moment of our lives we inhale, again inevitably to exhale. (Trench, R. C. Synonyms of the New Testament. Hendrickson Publishers. 2000)

Barton sees a principle and an application in Demas' choice, writing that...

There are two ways to love the world. God loves the world as he created it and as it could be if it were rescued from evil. Others, like Demas, love the world as it is, sin and all. Do you love the world as it could be if God’s justice ruled, the hungry were fed, and people loved one another? Or do you love what the world has to offer—wealth, power, pleasure—even if gaining it means hurting people and neglecting the work God has given you to do?" (Bolding added) (Barton, B. B., et al. Life Application Bible Commentary. Romans: Tyndale House Publishers or Logos)

HAS DESERTED ME AND GONE TO THESSALONICA: me egkatelipen (3SAAI)...kai eporeuthe (3SAPI) eis Thessaloniken: (2Ti 4:16, 1:15 Mt 26:56; Acts 13:13; 15:38; 2Pe 2:15)

has abandoned me (GWT),

let me down (Wuest)

Deserted (1459) (egkataleipo from en = in + kataleípo = forsake, desert <> kata = intensifies or strengthens the next word + leipo = leave behind) abandon, desert, or leave in straits. It speaks of forsaking someone in a state of defeat or helplessness, even in midst of hostile circumstances.

Demas left Paul in the lurch, utterly forsaking him, letting him down. It was a disappointment but it also must have broken Paul's heart.

The ultimate fate of Demas is debated in the commentaries, some considering his action as the manifestation of an individual who was never a true believer, while others feel that he was a believer who fell in love with the world. Demas ostensibly seems to began well but ultimately shipwrecked upon the shores of worldly affections! Beware of these dangerous reefs!

Although I will not make a dogmatic statement as to Demas' eternal fate (for God alone knows for certain), it is interesting to study several parallel passages.

Paul testified that through the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ

the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Gal 6:14)

John taught that

If anyone loves (agapao = present tense = as a lifestyle) the world (kosmos), the love of the Father is not (ou = indicates absolute negation) in him (1Jn 2:15-note).

James records a parallel truth writing...

You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (Jas 4:4-note)

Demas' focus on which he bestowed his agapao love (this present world) is in stark contrast to what Paul had just stated regarding

the righteous Judge, (Who) will award to me (the crown of righteousness) on that day and not only to me, but also to all who have loved (agapao - perfect tense = began to love at point in the past, surely when they were born again, and continue to love) His appearing." (2Ti 4:8-note)


Paul's heart was captivated by Christ and His coming kingdom, while Demas allowed his heart to be wooed and won by the kingdom of this world! One is passing away and the other endures forever! Do not be deceived beloved brethren! This world is not our friend dear saint!

Irregardless of Demas' fate, Paul was clearly impacted by his tragic departure. One of the bitterest experiences in Christian service is to be forsaken by those who were formerly one’s fellow laborers.


Spurgeon comments that...


Demas was once almost a martyr, he was upon the very edge of suffering, but now you see he goeth back to the world again; he is not content to lie in the dungeon and rot with Paul, but will rather seek his own ease. Alas! Demas, how hast thou dishonoured thyself for ever, for every man who reads this passage as he passes by, flings another stone at the heap which is the memorial of one of cowardly spirit who fled from Paul in danger.


Demarest comments that...

The tragedy is that here is one who at one time was running well but now has dropped out of the race. Fidelity in Christian life and ministry must be constantly renewed. Yesterday’s trophies do not win today’s races. And I’ve never known any parents who named their children after Demas. How sad." (Demarest, G. W., & Ogilvie, L. J. The Preacher's Commentary Series, Vol 32: 1, 2 Thessalonians / 1, 2 Timothy / Titus. Page 298. Thomas Nelson)


Vance Havner reminds us that...


Demas and all his sort want their crowns now and they will get them in Thessalonica. They have their reward. All who follow Paul will wait for theirs till that day. They have only two days on their calendar, today and that day. The Day shall declare it. (See 1Cor 3:13.) If we are living just for today, we will go with Demas to Thessalonica. If we are living for that day, we will stay with Paul and exchange the old rugged cross one day for a crown.




DEMAS LOST THE "SCENT" - A MAN bought a new hunting dog. Eager to see how the dog would perform, the man took him out to track a bear. No sooner had they gotten into the woods than the dog picked up the trail. Suddenly he stopped, sniffed the ground, and headed in a new direction. He had caught the scent of a deer that had crossed the bear's path. A few moments later he halted again, this time smelling a rabbit that had crossed the path of the deer. On and on it went until finally the breathless hunter caught up with his dog, only to find him barking triumphantly down the hole of a field mouse.

Sometimes Christians are like that hunting dog. We start out on the right trail, following Christ. But soon our attention is diverted to things of lesser importance. One pursuit leads to another until we've strayed far from our original purpose. Appar­ently this is what happened to one of the apostle Paul's compan­ions, for Paul wrote to Timothy, "Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world."

Every day we must renew our dedication to Christ or we will be drawn away by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life. These worldly influences can divert even the most devout Christian. We easily pick up another scent and follow another trail, perhaps the pursuit of wealth, power, prestige, or pleasure. When we realize that has happened, we must admit our waywardness and ask God to get us back on the right trail. —D J De Haan
(Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)


Pastor Steven Cole has the following thoughts on Demas...


Demas was formerly committed, but deserted the cause of Christ for the world. Paul was probably more disappointed over Demas than with any of the others. When he had written to Philemon (Philemon 1:24) a few years before, Paul included Demas among his “fellow workers.” He had been a part of Paul’s team (see Col 4:14). But now, when identifying with the apostle may have meant death, Demas had deserted him. Rather than loving the Lord’s appearing (2Ti 4:8), Demas had loved this present world. Paul was left shivering without even a warm coat, while Demas took off to pursue “the good life.”


We don’t know whether Demas later came to his senses and, like Peter after his denials, repented. I do know that the world’s enticements are strong. I live very comfortably, and yet there are times when I see how the wealthy live and I think, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have all those things!” But as you face death, having the things of this world won’t matter much anymore. If you can join with Paul in saying, “I have been committed to the cause of Jesus Christ,” you will also join him in facing life’s winter well. It’s never too late, by the way. I read of a woman who became a Christian at 100. She devoted her last three years to working with a mission, stuffing envelopes! So to face life’s winter well, commit yourself to the living Lord and His eternal cause. (Read the full sermon - his messages read like verse by verse commentaries!)


Vance Havner on Demas...


1. Who was Demas?

Two . . . references (Col 4.14, Philemon 1:24) tell us that he was an associate and fellow worker with Paul.

2. What about Demas?

" . Demas hath forsaken me."

3. Why did Demas forsake Paul?

He loved this Present world this world which, if a man love, he is the enemy of God, and the love of the Father is not in him; this world which hated my Lord and will hate us; this world which knows us not/ because it knew Him not; this world whose wisdom is foolishness with God; this world that our Lord died to save.

4. One question remains: Where did Demas go?

"Demas hath forsaken me and is departed unto Thessalonica. " I do not know why he went there or what he did when he arrived. There was a good church in Thessalonica. It was the first gospel broadcasting station: "For from you sounded out the word of the Lord . ." we read in I Thessalonians [[1:8|bible.73.1.8]], but I do not think Demas went there to preach. The devil always has a Thessalonica for a Demas when he is trying to escape the reproach of a Roman prison and a

Pauline Christianity. If you have a king other than Caesar, Rome is a hot spot to live and preach in.

Demas and all his sort want their crowns now and they will get them in Thessalonica. They have their reward. All who follow Paul will wait for theirs till that day. They have only two days on their calendar, today and that day. The Day shall declare it. (See 1Corinthians 3:13. If we are living just for today, we will go with Demas to Thessalonica. If we are living for that day, we will stay with Paul and exchange the old rugged cross one day for a crown.


CRESCENS [HAS GONE] TO GALATIA TITUS TO DALMATIA: Kreskes eis Galatian, Titos eis Dalmatian: (Acts 17:1,11,13 Acts 16:6; 18:23; Gal 1:2, 2Co 2:13; 7:6; 8:6,16; Gal 2:1, 2, 3; Titus 1:4)


Crescens - See brief notes on Crescens


Has gone - Not in the Greek, but added for continuity of the sentence. So literally the Greek text reads "Crescens into Galatia (click map), Titus into Dalmatia (on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea)" but without any criticism or negative inference as with Demas.

Thomas Guthrie used to say:

If you find yourself loving any pleasure better than your prayers, any book better than the Bible, any house better than the house of God, any table better than the Lord’s table, any person better than Christ, any indulgence better than the hope of heaven—take alarm.”

How will you finish the race? Like Paul or like Demas? Moody's Today in the Word gives us an illustration of a once fruitful life that ended in barrenness and futility...

One cold January morning in 1864 a man was found lying in a heap in the seedy Bowery section of New York, bleeding from a slashed throat. He had staggered to a wash basin, which fell and shattered. A doctor at the scene used black sewing thread somebody found to suture the wound. The man—an almost penniless drunkard—was admitted to Bellevue Hospital, where he languished unknown for three days before dying. Later, someone seeking him was directed to the local morgue. The friend knew that the man he sought was much more than a derelict. He was a genius whose songs captured the hearts of generations of Americans: “Swanee River,” “Camptown Races,” “Oh, Susanna,” “Beautiful Dreamer,” and two hundred more. His name? Stephen Foster.


2Timothy 4:11  Only Luke is (3SPAI)  with me. Pick up (AAPMSN)  Mark and bring (2SPAM) him with you, for he is (3SPAI)  useful to me for service. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: Loukas estin (3SPAI) monos met' emou. Markon analabon (AAPMSN) age (2SPAM) meta seautou, estin (3SPAI) gar moi euchrestos eie diakonian. 
BBE: Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and take him with you; for he is of use to me in the work.
GWT: Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you. He is useful to me in my work. (
KJV: Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.
Phillips: Only Luke is with me now.  When you come, pick up Mark and bring him with you. I can certainly find a job for him here.  (
Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest:  Luke alone is with me. Mark pick up and be bringing him with you, for he is profitable to me for ministering work.  (
Young's Literal: Lukas only is with me; Markus having taken, bring with thyself, for he is profitable to me for ministration;

ONLY LUKE IS WITH ME: Loukas estin (3SPAI) monos met' emou: (2Ti 1:15, Acts 16:10; Col 4:14; Philemon 24)

Luke is with Paul now in Rome just as he had been during Paul's first Roman imprisonment. In two of the "prison epistles" written during that first imprisonment Paul wrote that...


Luke, the beloved physician, sends you his greetings, and also Demas. (Col 4:14-note)

Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow workers. (Philemon 1:23, 24)

Luke is first seen associated with Paul in (Acts 16:10)

"And when he [Paul] had seen the vision, immediately we [Luke now writing in the first person] sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. [those in Philippi]"

Luke accompanied Paul on his last trip to Jerusalem (Acts 21:15)

And when it came about that our days there were ended, we departed and started on our journey, while they all, with wives and children, escorted us until we were out of the city. And after kneeling down on the beach and praying, we said farewell to one another.

We lose sight of Luke until he identifies himself again at Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast as Paul departs for Rome (Acts 27:2)

And embarking in an Adramyttian ship, which was about to sail to the regions along the coast of Asia, we put out to sea, accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica.

Dr Luke not only accompanied Paul to Rome but he appears to remain at Paul's side through both imprisonments as suggested by the Scriptures quoted above.  Luke in fact is the only companion who remained with Paul ("only Luke is with me"). It is clear that an especially tender relationship had developed between the two men over the years ("the beloved physician").

What a marked contrast: Luke, the faithful physician whose affection for Paul continued to the end, and Demas whose affection failed under pressure.

PICK UP MARK AND BRING HIM WITH YOU: Markon analabon (AAPMSN) age (2SPAM) meta seautou: (Acts 12:12 25; 15:39; Col 4:10; 1Pe 5:13; Hos 14:4)

Pick up (353) (analambano [word study] from aná = up + lambáno = take) means literally to take up, to assume. Depending on the context analambano can mean to cause to go up, to lift up and carry away as in the Ascension of Christ (Acts 1:2, 11, 22), to take up in order to carry (Acts 7:43, Eph 6:13, 16), to pick up (someone to take along on a journey - 2Ti 4:11), to take aboard a ship (Acts 20:13, 14).

TDNT notes that analambano in the LXX has such senses as

“to load,” “to set on the feet,” “to raise” (a song), “to lift up” (in prayer), “to receive” (instruction), and “to keep upright.” It can also become a term for rapture. (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W.  Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans)

As alluded to above, five of the 13 uses of analambano refer to Jesus' ascension (cp Rev 12:5 [note] "her child was caught up (not analambano but harpazo [word study]) to God and to His throne."

Analambano - 13x in 13v - Mk 16:19; Acts 1:2, 11, 22; 7:43; 10:16; 20:13, 14; 23:31; Ep 6:13, 16; 1Ti 3:16; 2Ti4:11 NAS = pick(1), received(1), take(1), take...on board(1), taken(5), taking(1), took(2), took...on board(1).

Bring (71) (ago) means to carry, lead, conduct. This instruction is imperative mood or in the form of a command.

A separation occurred between Paul and Barnabas because of a sharp disagreement over Mark:

Mark returns home from Paul's First Missionary Journey: "Now Paul and his companions put out to sea from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia; and John (Mark) left them and returned to Jerusalem." (Acts 13:13)

Paul and Barnabas had a sharp disagreement over Mark prior to Paul's Second Missionary Journey: "And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us return and visit the brethren in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are. 37 And Barnabas was desirous of taking
John, called Mark, along with them also.38 But Paul kept insisting that they should not take him along who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work.39 And there arose such a sharp disagreement (paroxusmos: paroxysm = stirring up anger, sharp contention) that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus.40 But Paul chose Silas and departed, being committed by the brethren to the grace of the Lord.41 And he was traveling through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches." (Acts 15:36-41)

Mark is restored to Paul's favor by the time of his first imprisonment in AD60-62 (2 Timothy being about 5 years later during Paul's second imprisonment) for he writes "Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, sends you his greetings; and also Barnabas' cousin Mark (about whom you received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him)." (Col 4:10-note)

Paul's request for John Mark reveals that a reconciliation between the two had transpired since the conflicts of the first and second missionary journeys (cf. Acts 13:13; 15:36-41). What an interesting contrast Mark makes with Demas, who started out well and then jumped ship in favor of the world. One became useless, the other became useful.

Spurgeon comments...

That is one of the prettiest verses in the Bible, because you will remember that the Apostle Paul quarreled with Barnabas about this very Mark, because John Mark would not go into Bythinia to preach the Word, but left Paul and Barnabas, therefore Paul would not have Mark with him any more, because he had turned in the day of trouble. But now Paul is about to die, and he wishes to be perfectly at peace with everyone. He has quite forgiven poor John Mark himself for his former weakness; he sees grace in him, and so he is afraid lest John Mark should be under some apprehensions of the Apostle’s anger, and so he puts in this very kind passage, without seeming to have any reference at all to the past, but he gives him this great praise — ”for he is profitable to me for the ministry.”

><> ><> ><>

Failure - Get Mark, ... for he is useful to me (2Ti 4:11). Although we can never undo a failure, we can learn from the experience and profit by it. A baseball pitcher who loses a game because he throws a fastball right where the batter wants it may come back four days later and hurl a shutout. He'll never erase the lost game from his record, but his failure can teach him valuable lessons that will help him to chalk up more wins than losses.

In Acts we read that John Mark accompanied Paul and Barnabas when they started their first missionary journey (Acts 13:5), but he soon departed from them (Acts 13:13). While he was at home, he apparently regretted what he had done, so he asked to be included the next time his older friends set out. Barnabas wanted to give him another chance, but Paul didn't, so they parted company and formed two teams—Barnabas taking Mark, and Paul taking Silas. Young Mark couldn't erase his first failure, but he must have learned from it because he became a respected Christian leader of his clay. Further-more, God used him to write one of the four gospels; and Paul, in his second prison epistle to Timothy, asked for Mark, saying, "He is useful to me for ministry."

It doesn't do any good to brood about what went wrong. Wishing we could do something over is an exercise in futility. Each day is new. With God's help we can succeed, if we learn from yesterday's failure. Christians live in "the land of beginning again." —H. V. Lugt (
Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Failure doesn't mean you'll never succeed.
It will just take longer.

FOR HE IS USEFUL TO ME FOR SERVICE: gar moi euchrêstos eis diakonian: (Mt 19:30; 20:16; Lk 13:30)

for he is profitable to me for ministering work (Wuest)

Useful (2173) (euchrestos from = well + chráomai = furnish what is needful) means easy to make use of and so pertaining to being of positive or good use - valuable, helpful, serviceable, beneficial.

Euchrestos was a a common term in Greco-Roman secular term in the description of service that has special social value.

Paul used euchrestos in his description of the man God can use writing that

if a man (thoroughly) cleanses himself from these things (from what is ignoble and unclean, who separates himself from contact with contaminating and corrupting influences), he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful (euchrestos) to the Master, prepared for every good work." (2Ti 2:21-note)

What does this use of euchrestos teach us about Mark?

Edwards comments that

The life of Mark stands as a testimony to the grace of God, Who is ever "The God of the Second Chance." Many of God's greatest servants failed miserably at the start of their course, but returned to finish the race in a God-honoring fashion. When David Livingstone attempted to preach his first sermon, he went blank and told the audience, "I have forgotten all that I had to say." He left the pulpit in utter shame and discouragement. But through the encouragement of Robert Moffat, he went on to be an accomplished preacher and doctor. God ever provides a second chance to the man who is willing to get back on his feet and run the race set before him. "Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, 'Arise, go . . . preach . . . '" Jonah 3:1,2" (2 Timothy- Call to Completion)

Service (1248) (diakonia) means the rendering or assistance or help by performing certain duties, often of a humble or menial nature serve, including such  mundane activities as waiting on tables or caring for household needs—activities without apparent dignity.

Note: For numerous additional insights concerning this word group (diakonos, diakoneo, diakonia) see the study of diakonos

Diakonia - 34x in 32v - Luke 10:40; Acts 1:17, 25; 6:1, 4; 11:29; 12:25; 20:24; 21:19; Rom 11:13; 12:7; 15:31; 1 Cor 12:5; 16:15; 2 Cor 3:7ff; 4:1; 5:18; 6:3; 8:4; 9:1, 12f; 11:8; Eph 4:12; Col 4:17; 1 Tim 1:12; 2 Tim 4:5, 11; Heb 1:14; Rev 2:19 and is translated: ministries, 1; ministry, 19; mission, 1; preparations, 1; relief, 1; serve, 1; service, 7; serving, 2; support, 1.

Since service associated with the word diakonia necessarily involved dependence, submission, and constraints of time and freedom, the Greeks regarded diakonia as degrading and dishonorable. Service for the public good was honored, but

voluntary giving of oneself in service of one’s fellow man is alien to Greek thought. The highest goal before a man was the development of his own personality. (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan  or Computer version)

That last sentence is strikingly contemporary, and is mindful of the fact that a culture that is focused on self-actualization and self-fulfillment will find little value in servant hood. (This speaks volumes about Paul's assessment of Mark).

In Greek eyes, diakonia service is not very dignified. Ruling and not service is proper to a man. The formula of the sophist expressed the basic Greek attitude: “How can a man be happy when he has to serve someone?” expresses the basic Greek attitude. For the Greek in his wisdom and freedom there can certainly be no question of existing to serve others.

Judaism had no philosophy of ministry involving diakonia. Judaism, however, adopted a philosophy of service not unlike that of the Greeks. If service was rendered at all, it was done as an act of social obligation or as an act to those more worthy. A superior would not stoop to become a servant! Such an attitude, which conforms so closely to man’s natural prejudices, causes the Lord’s example and teaching to stand out in brilliant contrast. By our Lord's own testimony (uses the verb form diakoneo)...


the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. (Mt 20:28)


Though Judaism in the time of Jesus knew and practiced its social responsibilities, e.g., to the poor, this was done mainly by alms, not by service (cf. Lk 10:30-35). Lowly service such as waiting at table, was beneath the dignity of a free man (cf. Lk 7:44ff). Sometimes, the "greater" would wait at table, but this was unusual. Jesus' example and the NT introduced a radically new attitude toward diakonia.


Diakonia is not the activity of a lesser to a greater, but is the lifestyle of a follower of the Lord Jesus. “Serving” in the form of diakonia pervades the NT, not merely in the frequency of the word’s usage but in the constant recurrence of attitudes and examples of service.


Luke records that in the early period of the newly born church...


while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving (diakonia) of food. (Acts 6:1)


Diakonia is modeled on the pattern and command of the Savior and represents the practical outworking of God’s love, especially toward fellow believers.


Ministry (including "mission" as shown in the reference below) is not the activity of an elite class, but the mutual caring of a band of brothers. Luke records that


Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their mission (diakonia), taking along with them John, who was also called Mark. (Acts 12:25)


Such service is personal and practical, rather than institutional. A diakonos is one who by choice and position has come to be under the authority of his Master and who therefore serves others in love and gratitude. Paul had been called and set apart to be a servant, Luke quoting Paul who testified...


I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry (diakonia) which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24)


Martha is an example of service of a menial nature but without the proper attitude, Luke recording that


Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him, and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving (diakonia) alone? Then tell her to help me. (Lk 10:40)


Diakonia involves compassionate love towards the needy within the Christian community. Paul and Luke in the Acts use the word to designate those who preach the gospel and have care of the churches, even as Paul instructed Timothy to...


be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry (diakonia) (2Ti 4:5-note)


Therefore, diakonia is an office or ministration in the Christian community viewed with reference to the labor needed for others.



Having studied the NT nuances of diakonia, can you see how much more meaningful Paul's statement was that Mark (who previously had not been useful to Paul) was now "useful...for diakonia"?

Is there a "Mark" in your life, who you might have discounted in the past for right or wrong reasons, but whose "ministry" you now need to re-evaluate?

And possibly whom you need to restore?

Would you classify your service in your local body as "diakonia"?

Mark Hepner states that...

Given the highly suggestive basic meaning of diakoneo (click for Hepner's discussion of this basic meaning of diakoneo), it comes as no surprise that the nominalized form of the verb becomes in the New Testament the standard term to denote the act of providing to God’s people that which creates and sustains both their physical and spiritual life “in Christ.” Indeed, this word, used to refer to the distribution of food in Acts 6:1, is just as easily applied to the distribution of God’s word to the members of the church a few verses later (Acts 6:4). It is in this extended sense that the word is used to designate the evangelistic program of Barnabas and Saul in Acts 12:25. Similarly, in Acts 20:24 Paul refers to the proclamation “of the gospel of God’s grace” as the “service” the Lord has given him to do.

Ministry as diakonia provides what is necessary for each member of the body of Christ to stay alive, to grow to maturity, and to “discharge all the duties” (2Ti 4:5) of their divinely assigned tasks. Ministry is expressed in a variety of forms (1Co 12:5) all of which are aimed at helping every member of the body in every way possible to arrive at the goal of their faith. As 2Co 6:3 makes clear, ministry is the opposite of causing people to stumble. In other words, ministry makes it easier, not harder, to keep believing in Jesus and following him as Lord. This is because ministry is service to the saints (2Co 8:4) received from the Lord (Col 4:17) who intends by it the building up of his body (Ep 4:12)...

To sum up, this survey of the diakonia word group indicates that the core idea of ministry is supplying what people need to keep on living as Christ’s body in the world. Christian ministry is fundamentally a practical activity, consisting of acts of service to others for the purpose of sustaining their life as a community of faith, promoting their maturity and growth in Christ-likeness, and enhancing their ability to carry on the mission of Christ. Ministry is obedient service done on behalf of the Master for the benefit of his people. Ministry is making the needs of fellow believers equivalent to the command of the Lord himself and willingly distributing to them what the Master has placed in their hands to meet those needs. (Ashland Theological Journal Volume 37:51ff. 2005)


There are several synonyms used in the NT to describe service or ministry.

(1) Diakonos - a minister, waiter, attendant, servant (applied to a teacher, pastor or deacon), and speaks of service or ministry to other men and women "as objects of the loving services we extend to them for Jesus' sake". (Richards)

(2) Doulos - one who is in bondage and thus a servant related to the master as a slave who must at all times be subservient. In the NT doulos often speaks of a believer's submission to their Master Jesus, whereas diakonos (diakonia, diakoneo) speaks more about the "loving action on behalf of a brother or sister or neighbor" (Richards) a motif concerning which Jesus set the premier example (cp Mk 10:45, Mt 20:28).

(3) Huperetes - literally an under-oarsman (originally an under–rower in a galley ship) and so a subordinate servant, a subordinate official waiting to accomplish the commands of his superior (Mt 5:25, Lk 4:20, Jn 18:36, Acts 13:5)

(4) Leitourgos - in Classic Greek one who performed public duties (Ro 13:6) but used most often in NT of a servant or minister of God (Ro 13:6, Ro 15:16 Php 2:25 Heb 1:7 Heb 8:2)

Therapon - a menial attendant who serves voluntarily. Trench says therapon conveys "the sense of one whose services are tenderer, nobler, freer than those of the doulos." (Only used in Heb 3:5)

(6) Oiketes- a household or domestic servant (Lk 16:13; Ac 10:7; Ro 14:4; 1Pe 2:18)

(7) Misthios and misthotos (see root misthos) - a hired servant, a hireling (in both good and bad sense) (misthios - Lk 15:17, 19) (misthotos - Mk 1:20; Jn 10:12, 13)



LEARNING FROM THE PAST - We all have some regrets about the past and try to forget our sins and mistakes. We feel a lot like the Peanuts comic strip character Linus, who said, "Maybe we should think only about today." Charlie Brown disagreed, "No, that's giving up. I'm still hoping yesterday will get better."

We know that we can't change what happened yesterday. But we can learn from yesterday's sins and mistakes, and with God's help we can use that knowledge to make a better tomorrow.

That's what John Mark did. He had started on a missionary journey with Paul and Barnabas, but when they entered Asia Minor he abandoned them and went back home (Acts 13:13; 15:38). We're not told why he left, but the apostle Paul saw it as a shameful desertion.

Later, Mark became a co-worker with Barnabas (15:39). We don't know the details, but at some point Mark must have changed and reconciled with Paul (Colossians 4:10, 11). When Paul was in prison awaiting execution, he asked Timothy to come and to bring Mark with him. He indicated that Mark was "useful to me for ministry" (2Timothy 4:11).

We cannot erase yesterday, but we can learn from it. When we take our sins and mistakes to the Lord and seek His help, we can be better today and tomorrow.— Herbert Vander Lugt
(Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)


For Further Study
How do we know that God forgives us? (1Jn 1:9, 10, 2:1).
Read the online version of the booklet
When We Don't Measure Up

Failure is never final if you begin again with God.


2Timothy 4:12  But Tychicus I have sent (1SAAI) to Ephesus. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: Tychikon de apesteila (1SAAI) eis Epheson. 
BBE: Tychicus I sent to Ephesus.
GWT: I'm sending Tychicus to the city of Ephesus as my representative. (
: And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus.
Phillips:  (I had to send Tychicus off to Ephesus.)  (
Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest:  But Tychicus I sent off on a mission to Ephesus.  (
Young's Literal: and Tychicus I sent to Ephesus;

BUT TYCHICUS: Tychikon de: (Acts 20:4; Eph 6:21; Col 4:7; Titus 3:12)

But Tychicus - Where is Paul? In prison (2Ti 1:8-note, 2Ti 1:16-note, 2Ti 2:9-note) about to be martyred (2Ti 4:6-note) and yet in what endeavor is he still engaged (cp 1Co 4:1, 2, Lk 12:42)? The work of service (Ep 4:11-note, Ep 4:12-note)! Ministry of and for the Lord! He is still about His Father's business.

What a great example Paul presents to Timothy and to us to imitate (1Co 11:1 4:16 Php 3:17-note) >>> Keep on keeping on to the very end of the good fight of faith. In contrast to the unbeliever's end, Paul's (and our) end is not a "bitter end", but a "blessed end" because we enter into the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (cp Php 1:21-note). Hallelujah!

Tychicus (5190) (Tuchikos from tugchano [5177] = meet by chance, fortuitous, chance,  fortunate - As an aside, in the sovereignty of God there is no "chance meeting" only providential meeting!) was Paul’s disciple whose name means "Chance", a name we occasionally encounter even today. However Tychicus was not "by chance" Paul's disciple and beloved brother, but "by choice" (God's sovereign choice of a man named Chance, who exercised his free will choice! Mysterious, amazing grace indeed! And all that just from one man's name!)


Paul described Tychicus as...


As to all my affairs, Tychicus, our beloved brother and faithful servant (diakonos - see discussion of diakonia in discussion of Mark above) and fellow bond-servant (sundoulos = sun/syn   + doulos) in the Lord, will bring you information. 8 For I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts" (Col 4:7, 8-note)


The term brother brings to mind the idea of a family and in most families brothers are very close because share a lot in common, including kinship or blood ties. There is something about being a brother, about being in a family. Paul of course is referring to a spiritual brother, a brother in Christ. Beloved is a term of endearment and is someone that you love, and are deeply devoted to. Paul did not call everyone beloved. Beloved means that the other person has struck a "chord" in your heart. There is a bond of love, a bond of faith that drew Tychicus and Paul together. Paul would not call someone "beloved" who did not genuinely love him. He would not call someone beloved who he did not trust or who did not have common spiritual interests and goals. But when you find somebody who loves you that way and you can love them that way, the two of you to each other are beloved and that's the way Paul felt about Tychicus. There are people out front, but how we need the people who are coming alongside, those we can truly call beloved brothers, those who love the work of Christ the same as we love it, and yet are gifted differently (cp 1Pe 4:10, 11-note), people who are willing to do the work and be willing never receive applause (at least in this present earthly life!), people who are willing be behind the scenes so that God's work might be done through the body of Christ, the church (cp 1Co 12:14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25). When we get to heaven and the rewards are passed out (cp 1Co 3:4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15), Tychicus is going to be blessed as much as Paul, because his heart was the same (cp "kindred spirit" Php 2:20-note). His heart's desire was first to devote himself to God (worship) and  then to devote himself to God’s work (Worship should always proceed work!). If follows that Paul and Tychicus were a perfect "God ordained" match for accomplishing God's work.


Paul also refers to Tychicus as a fellow bond-servant, a sundoulos, where "sun" means together with, and "doulos" means a slave. Anytime you see the word slave in connection with a Christian it is always a bond-servant or "love slave", one who has chosen to be a slave to the will and the ways and the Word of the Lord Jesus Himself. Paul says that Tychicus is a bond-servant with me. In other words, Paul is saying that he and Tychicus come out of the same heart. This is the bottom line. Do you want to see where Paul’s heart is?


Look in Acts 20:24...


But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, [here is a bond-servant] in order that I may finish my course (dromos [word study] - "race"), and the ministry (diakonia [word study]) which I received [not achieved or sought!] from the Lord (kurios) Jesus, to testify solemnly (diamarturomai [word study]) of the gospel (euaggelion) of the grace (charis) of God."


Comment: Paul is saying, "I want everything about me to bring testimony to the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ, both living in me and motivating me to do what I do. I want my life to count for Christ." (cp John Piper's book Don't Waste Your Life @ Desiring God Christian Resource Library) Paul goes on to add that "Tychicus is a fellow bond-servant and shares the same attitude which I have. He and I share the same heart." May "Tychicus' tribe" increase in the modern church in America! Parenthetically, is this not a great description of the good news as "the gospel of the grace of God"! How thankful we should be that it does not read "the gospel of the works we must perform to please God", for indeed that would be the antithesis of "good news"!


In Ephesians Paul speaks of Tychicus in "glowing terms"...


But that you also may know about my circumstances, how I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make everything known to you. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may (parakaleo) console and cheer and encourage and strengthen your hearts. (Amplified Version - Ep 6:21, 22-notes)


Tychicus was one of Paul’s disciples and was first mentioned as a companion of the apostle during a portion of Paul’s return journey from the third missionary tour (Acts 20:4) where Paul identifies him (with Trophimus) as a native of Asia. Tychicus was with Paul when the apostle wrote the prison epistles from Rome (during his first imprisonment), and he was with him for a time when he wrote in a later imprisonment to Timothy (2Ti 4:12-note).


In Paul's letter to Titus, the apostle clearly expresses his confidence in the ability of Tychicus to take over for Titus in Crete which would allow the latter to come spend time with Paul:


When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, make every effort to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. (Titus 3:12-note )

I HAVE SENT TO EPHESUS: apesteila (1SAAI) eis Epheson: (Acts 20:16 17 25; 1Ti 1:3)

I have sent to Ephesus - See note above regarding Paul's perseverance even in the face of persecution, pain and peril to his very life.

What a great example and high standard Paul sets, one which should serve to motivate each of us to live life in the light of eternity and not just time! May Paul's tribe increase to the glory of God. Amen.

Sent (649) (apostello from apo = from + stello = appoint to position or literally to send forth - see study of related word apostolos) means to send off, send forth or send out. The idea is that one is sent forth on a certain mission. To cause someone to depart for a particular purpose.  To dispatch someone for the achievement of some objective, in this instance mentioning only who was sent, where he was sent to but not specifically stating the purpose.

Apostello - 132x in 115v in NAS - Matt 2:16; 8:31; 10:5, 16, 40; 11:10; 13:41; 14:35; 15:24; 20:2; 21:1, 3, 34, 36f; 22:3f, 16; 23:34, 37; 24:31; 27:19; Mark 1:2; 3:14, 31; 4:29; 5:10; 6:7, 17, 27; 8:26; 9:37; 11:1, 3; 12:2ff, 13; 13:27; 14:13; Luke 1:19, 26; 4:18, 43; 7:3, 20, 27; 9:2, 48, 52; 10:1, 3, 16; 11:49; 13:34; 14:17, 32; 19:14, 29, 32; 20:10, 20; 22:8, 35; 24:49; John 1:6, 19, 24; 3:17, 28, 34; 4:38; 5:33, 36, 38; 6:29, 57; 7:29, 32; 8:42; 9:7; 10:36; 11:3, 42; 17:3, 8, 18, 21, 23, 25; 18:24; 20:21; Acts 3:20, 26; 5:21; 7:14, 34f; 8:14; 9:17, 38; 10:8, 17, 20, 36; 11:11, 13, 30; 13:15; 15:27, 33; 16:35f; 19:22; 26:17; 28:28; Rom 10:15; 1 Cor 1:17; 2 Cor 12:17; 2 Tim 4:12; Heb 1:14; 1 Pet 1:12; 1 John 4:9f, 14; Rev 1:1; 5:6; 22:6. NAS = puts(1), send(17), send forth(3), sending(3), sends(1), sent(104), sent...away(1), set(1).

Ephesus (2181) (Ephesos - thought to mean desirable or beloved) (Click for map scroll down) (see Acts 18:19-20:17) was the most important city of the Roman province of Asia, and as noted above Tychicus was a native of Asia. Ephesus was built on a natural harbor whose waves, according to the Roman writer Pliny the Elder, “used to wash up to the temple of Diana.”

Ephesos - 16x in 16v - Acts 18:19, 21, 24; 19:1, 17, 26; 20:16 17; 1 Cor 15:32; 16:8; Eph 1:1; 1 Tim 1:3; 2 Tim 1:18; 4:12; Rev 1:11; 2:1.

Ephesus was described by Strabo, an early Greek geographer, as the largest commercial center west of the Taurus Mountains and was also well known as the “guardian” of the temple of Artemis (Acts 19:24), or as the Romans called her, Diana. With an artificial harbor accessible to the largest ships, and rivaling the harbor at Miletus, standing at the entrance of the valley which reaches far into the interior of Asia Minor, and connected by highways with the chief cities of the province, Ephesus was the most easily accessible city in Asia, both by land and sea. At its zenith Ephesus had a population of over half a million inhabitants.

What was Paul's purpose for sending Tychicus to Ephesus? We can only speculate that perhaps Tychicus was sent to relieve Timothy, thus allowing him to come to be with Paul.

As Wiersbe notes

What a blessing it is to have people who can replace others! A relief pitcher may not get all the glory, but he may help win the game! (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor or Logos)


2Timothy 4:13  When you come (PMPMSN) bring (2SPAM)  the cloak which I left  (1SAAI) at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: ton phailonen on apelipon (1SAAI) en Troadi para Karpo erchomenos (PMPMSN) phere, (2SPAM) kai ta biblia, malista tas membranas. 
BBE: The coat which I did not take from Troas and which is with Carpus, get when you come, and the books, specially the papers.
GWT: When you come, bring the warm coat I left with Carpus in the city of Troas. Also bring the scrolls and especially the parchments.
KJV: The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.
Phillips: And please bring with you the cloak I left with Carpus at Troas, and the books, especially the manuscripts
Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest:  My cloak which I left behind at Troas in the care of Carpus, when you are coming, be carrying along, and my papyrus rolls, especially my parchments.
Young's Literal:  the cloak that I left in Troas with Carpus, coming, bring thou and the books -- especially the parchments.

WHEN YOU COME BRING THE CLOAK WHICH I LEFT AT TROAS WITH CARPUS: ton phailonen on apelipon (1SAAI) en Troadi para Karpo erchomenos (PMPMSN) phere (2SPAM): (1Cor 4:11; 2Cor 11:27) (Acts 16:8,11; 20:5-12)

Paul issues a command to bring  (phero) the cloak. In this section we see even the great apostle was a normal human being with very real needs - friends, physical comfort and the "Bread of Life", the living word as food for his soul. What a remember that even the Lord's apostles never become saturated with the living and active word, but in this present life are ever in need of daily nourishment found only in His Word taught by His Spirit (Mt 4:4, Lk 4:4, Dt 8:3, 1Pe 2:2-note, He 5:14-note). Are you hungry?

Cloak (5341) (phelones) is a mantle or traveling cloak, used for protection against stormy weather. This may refer to the ancient cloak which was generally a large, heavy wool garment that served as both coat and blanket in cold weather, which Paul would soon face. In the economy of that day, especially for Christians under Roman persecution, such clothing was extremely expensive.

H. V. Morton (In the Steps of St Paul) describes the type of cloak Paul seems to be referring to noting them on  shepherds in Cilicia. These cloaks were stiff outer garments (that they would even remain standing upright when taken off!) that were impervious to wind and water.  Remember that Paul was in a Roman prison, which was likely damp and cold and thus he would have needed such a garment

Left (620) (apoleipo from apo = from + leípo = lack) to cause or permit something to remain in a place and to go away (with or without implying purpose)

Troas (5174) (troas = the Troad or region about Troy) (Click to read more about Troas in the NW region of Modern Day Turkey) is a city on the coast of Mysia, in the NW aspect of ancient Asia Minor and named after ancient Troy, which was at some little distance from it (about 4 miles) to the north. Troas was strategically located on the Hellespont (Dardanelles), it was involved in various struggles to control the straits. Troas was the scene of the events of the Iliad and was an ancient center of Aegean civilization. It marked the launching point for the spread of the gospel to Europe as described below!

At Troas Paul (Second Missionary Journey) experienced his famous Macedonian vision,  Luke recording that "passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a certain man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." And when he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. Therefore putting out to sea from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and on the day following to Neapolis and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia, a Roman colony; and we were staying in this city for some days." (Acts 16:8, 9, 10, 11, 12)

Carpas (2591) (karpos) is the name of an otherwise unknown acquaintance of Paul whose name means “fruit.” Although somewhat speculative, it seems fair to say that Carpus was a believer with whom Paul may have lodged and for whom Paul had considerable confidence since he committed to his care not only the “cloak,” but especially his priceless “books and parchments.” It is noteworthy that  even such so-called menial tasks as faithfully taking care of another's valuables represents a ministry (diakonia refers to menial tasks and duties) to the Lord. One might say that Carpas (fruit) will be likely be rewarded with "fruit" at the Judgment Seat of Christ (cp 2Co 5:10-note)

APPLICATION: No "divine" task should be "beneath the dignity" of any believer and no such task dutifully and faithfully performed will go unnoticed or unrewarded by our Lord, the Righteous Judge.

AND THE BOOKS: kai ta biblia:

Books (975) (biblion from bublos = refers to the pith of the papyrus plant) refers to a roll or volume, as was the form of ancient books. The papyrus was a tall, aquatic reed that grew in the Nile Delta of Egypt and was made into a writing material of the same name. Papyrus was the main writing surface throughout the Mediterranean world from the fourth century BC to the seventh century AD. The earliest NT Greek manuscripts were written on papyrus. The English word paper is derived from the Greek papyros and the Latin papyrus.


Biblion - 34x in 29v - Matt 19:7; Mark 10:4; Luke 4:17, 20; John 20:30; 21:25; Gal 3:10; 2 Tim 4:13; Heb 9:19; 10:7; Rev 1:11; 5:1ff, 8f; 6:14; 10:8; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12; 21:27; 22:7, 9f, 18f. NAS = book(27), books(4), certificate(2), scroll(1).


The New Unger's Bible Dictionary adds that papyrus was...


A plant growing along the Nile in Egypt during the biblical period. It no longer is found in the Nile marshes of Lower Egypt, but it grows in the Sudan. It is also found in the region around Lake Huleh in Galilee. In the ancient world papyrus, Lat. cyperus papyrus... was a common writing material. To prepare the writing product the outer covering of the stem of the plant was removed and the inner fibers were cut into thin strips. Some of these were placed vertically. Superimposed upon them were soaked fibers laid horizontally. These two layers were stuck together with an adhesive substance, pressure applied, and the strips dried. The result was a yellowish piece of papyrus paper. Often the exterior was rubbed smooth to accommodate a finer type of writing with ink. Papyrus rolls were used in ancient Egypt during the Old Kingdom (c. 2800–2250 b.c.) and perhaps even earlier. Egyptian papyrus rolls are still in existence from the end of the third millennium b.c." (Unger, M. F., Harrison, R. K., Vos, H. F., Barber, C. J., & Unger, M. F. The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Chicago: Moody Press)

Timothy is here requested to bring some papyrus documents which are distinguished from the vellum manuscripts below.

Even in face of his impending certain death and his miserable conditions in prison, Paul is ever the student. Are you convicted? I am as I set at my computer in an air conditioned house and ponder how often I fritter away valuable moments on vain pursuits.

ESPECIALLY THE PARCHMENTS: malista tas membranas:

Parchments (3200) (membrana from a Greek transliteration of the Latin pergamena = that which pertains to Pergamum; see also Latin = membrana; English "membrane" = a thin pliable sheet of material forming a barrier or lining) describe manuscripts written on parchment or vellum (this term describes the finest parchment from calf skin) and made originally from the skin of a sheep, goat or calf.

This verse represents the only NT use of membrana (no uses in the Septuagint).

In preparation of parchment, the animal hide was soaked in lime to remove the hair, then shaved, dried and smoothed out with stones. It follows that parchment was generally extremely expensive and were therefore used for only the most important documents.

Moulton and Milligan note that parchment or membrana is...

a Grecized form of the Lat. membrana, “parchment,” said to be so called from Pergamum in Mysia, where it was first manufactured

The ISBE entry says that...

Parchment is made from the skins of sheep, goats or young calves. The hair and fleshy portions of the skin are removed as in tanning by first soaking in lime and then dehairing, scraping and washing. The skin is then stretched on a frame and treated with powdered chalk, or other absorptive agent, to remove the fatty substances, and is then dried. It is finally given a smooth surface by rubbing with powdered pumice. Parchment was extensively used at the time of the early Christians for scrolls, legal documents, etc., having replaced papyrus for that purpose. It was no doubt used at even a much earlier time. The roll mentioned in Jeremiah 36 may have been of parchment. Scrolls were later replaced by codices of the same material. After the Arabs introduced paper, parchment was still used for centuries for the book bindings. Diplomas printed on “sheepskins,” still issued by many universities, represent the survival of an ancient use of parchment. See following article. (Orr, J., M.A., D. D. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: 1915 edition)

Smith's Bible Dictionary has an interesting note that...

Parchment was used for the MSS of the Pentateuch in the time of Josephus, and the membrana of 2 Tim. 4:13 were skins of parchment. It was one of the provisions in the Talmud that the law should be written on the skins of clean animals, tame or wild, or even of clean birds.

A T Robertson writes that membrana refers to...

The dressed skins were first made at Pergamum and so termed “parchments.” These in particular would likely be copies of Old Testament books, parchment being more expensive than papyrus, possibly even copies of Christ’s sayings (Luke 1:1-4).


Ralph Earle in his commentary on 2 Timothy notes that...


There is an interesting historical parallel to Paul’s request. William Tyndale, who translated the first NT printed in English, was imprisoned in Vilvorde Castle near Brussels before his execution in 1536. In the year preceding his death he wrote to the governor, begging for warmer clothing, a woolen shirt, and above all his Hebrew Bible, grammar, and dictionary.

John Wesley told the preachers under his care to read or get out of the ministry! The great men of God have notoriously been great prayers and great readers!

Hiebert draws a challenging conclusion from Paul's requests writing that


Even as an old man facing certain death, the apostle has not lost his interest for study and mental pursuits. It presents a standing challenge to the minister to be an indefatigable student, especially of the Word of God. (Hiebert, D. Edmond, Second Timothy, p. 120, 1957)

Alexander Whyte comments regarding Paul's desire for the books and parchments noting that he belongs to...


That elect, and honorable, and enviable class of men that we call students of New Testament exegesis. Surely they are the happiest and the most enviable of all men, who have been set apart to nothing else but to the understanding and the opening up of the hid treasures of God’s Word and God’s Son. (The Walk, Conversation, and Character of Jesus Christ our Lord)




BOOK FRIENDS - The apostle Paul sat alone in a Roman prison facing his final weeks on earth. The wet cold of the dungeon must have pierced his bones as he penned a letter to his young friend Timothy, urging him to come before winter (2Ti 4:21). He asked Timothy to bring a cloak with him, which would shield him from the gnawing chill, and to bring the scrolls, and especially the parchments.

The parchments, made of animal skins, may have been copies of parts of the Old Testament. The “books,” made of papyrus, were probably scrolls. Clearly, Paul did not plan to write another weighty theological letter like the book of Romans. Nor was he about to prepare more sermons. He needed those books to warm his heart and to keep his mind alert.

A famous French author has written


“The wise men who have written before our time are travelers who have preceded us in the paths of misfortune, and who reach out to us their hands to invite us to join their society when all others have abandoned us. A good book is a good friend.”


We need to cultivate good reading habits. The Bible, of course, is number one. But God also uses good book friends to encourage our heart and stimulate our mind.— Haddon W. Robinson (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)


Immortal words of truth we’ve read,
So powerfully penned, so filled with grace,
Will follow us through all our days
And spur us on to win life’s race. —DJD

A good book—like a good friend—
is always there in your time of need.




READING AND REMEMBERING - My elderly aunt was having difficulty with her memory. She tried to recall Scripture verses she had learned earlier in life, but they weren't coming to mind. This bothered her. I told her that God understands our weaknesses. He remembers His promises even when we can't. It's more important that we rest in His faithfulness.

Author Lillian Helm learned that lesson too. At 91 she spent an hour each day reading her Bible and Christian literature. Her friends asked, "What good does all that reading do if you can't remember much of it?" She replied by recounting her blessings and saying, "My cup runneth over. I'm not concerned about my memory. I just do my reading and God does the remembering."

Paul was in prison awaiting execution when he wrote to Timothy, "Bring . . . the books, especially the parchments," (2Ti 4:13). He knew the importance of keeping his mind filled with God's truth. All of us need to do that every day of our lives.

But Paul's confidence wasn't in his books. It was in God, who would lovingly care for him and preserve him for His heavenly kingdom (2Ti 4:18). That's true for all of us, even if we can no longer read or remember. — Dennis J. De Haan
(Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)


I'll trust in God's unchanging Word
Till soul and body sever;
For though all things shall pass away,
His Word shall stand forever. --Anon.

Memory may fail, but never God's promises.

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Last Updated July, 2013