The Swan Song: 2 Timothy 4:19-22
“19) Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20) Erastus remained at Corinth, but Trophimus I left sick at Miletus. 21) Make every effort to come before winter. Eubulus greets you, also Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brethren. 22) The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.” 2 Timothy‬ ‭4:19-22‬ ‭
Paul now shares his final news and farewell with his team. In the final twelve verses to Timothy, we discover Paul’s team was dispersed over much of the region where he himself had ministered and started churches. He did a great job of leaving the second wave of leaders behind him to carry on the work of the ministry.
Some suggest that Paul was casually entrusting a superintendent role to Timothy to care for these churches after his own departure. That may be true, but the marvel of the New Testament body of Christ was that each church seemed to be autonomous and self governing. They looked to God and not to man for direction. Jesus alone was seen as the head of each local congregation.
These churches cooperated closely for prayer, fellowship, shared teachers, benevolence and missions, but they all seemed to function autonomously. This may have been done to prevent the formation of a Sanhedrin like power structure that ruled over Judaism.
It is curious in verse 19 that Paul mentioned leaving Trophimus sick at Miletus. Just like Timothy’s own constant infirmity and Paul’s thorn in the flesh, the early Christians were not automatically healed of every sickness. Just as God is providential over external trials and circumstances, so He is providential over healing. God in His grace heals some people, but He gives His grace to others to live with infirmities. Faith and trusting God is needed on both sides of the coin.
The book of 2 Timothy has been called “The Swan Song.” It was the last letter Paul wrote. Though he wrote it to Timothy, it was read and circulated broadly among the early churches. It quickly became part of the recognized and inspired New Testament cannon. After writing this small letter to his beloved son in the faith, the pen of Paul abruptly went silent.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global