The Possible Plight of Onesiphorus: 2 Timothy 1:16-18
“16) The Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains; 17) but when he was in Rome, he eagerly searched for me and found me— 18) the Lord grant to him to find mercy from the Lord on that day—and you know very well what services he rendered at Ephesus.” 2 Timothy‬ ‭1:16-18‬ ‭
Paul had high regards for Onesiphorus and his household. He was a genuine servant of those on the front lines for the gospel. He often ministered to Paul and others in Ephesus. On a trip to Rome he made special effort to find Paul and look into his welfare.
What is unusual is that twice in this text Paul wanted the Lord to grant him and his household mercy. I find the wording rather strange. Is it possible that he was a respected friend but hadn’t become a believer yet? Whatever the case, his behavior toward Paul and others was putting many believers to shame.
I have met many nonChristians of great dignity, respect and trustworthiness. Some have even volunteered or given sacrificially to help others in need. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that nonChristians are automatically bad people.
But here is the simple truth, even otherwise good people are sinful and need to trust in Jesus as their Savior. Paul wanted God to grant mercy to Onesiphorus and his family that they might understand the gospel and come to Jesus.
I have many acquaintances who fit into that category. I have Muslim, Hindu and even atheist friends that I compare to Onesiphorus. They are wonderful people, but they need to trust in Jesus. I yearn for them to receive Jesus and the gospel.
Maybe you are like Onesiphorus. Good works are commendable, but apart from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ they will not get you into heaven. John 3:16 applies to all people. God loves you so much that He gave His only Son to pay for your sin debt, but you must personally believe in Jesus Christ.
I am not talking about becoming religious, I am merely urging you to study the claims of Jesus Christ Himself. Beware of looking at people who claim to be Christians. As Paul pointed out in the previous verse, many are terribly disappointing. Pick up a Bible and start by reading the Gospel of John. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you.
If you need a trusted friend to talk to about the gospel, feel free to message or text me. I would be happy to converse with you about Jesus Christ and point you in the right direction.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global