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THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL TO TIMOTHY - Chapter 1 - Verse 18

Verse 18. The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day. The day of judgment. See Barnes "2 Ti 1:12".

This proves that Onesiphorus was then alive, as Paul would not offer prayer for him if he were dead. The Papists, indeed, argue from this in favour of praying for the dead—assuming from 2 Ti 4:19, that Onesiphorus was then dead. But there is no evidence of that. The passage in 2 Ti 4:19 would prove only that he was then absent from his family.

And in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus. This was the home of Onesiphorus, and his family was still there, 2 Ti 4:19. When Paul was at Ephesus, it would seem that Onesiphorus had showed him great kindness. His affection for him did not change when he became a prisoner. True friendship, and especially that which is based on religion, will live in all the vicissitudes of fortune, whether we are in prosperity or adversity; whether in a home of plenty, or in a prison.

This chapter is full of interest, and may suggest many interesting reflections. We see

(1.) A holy man in prison and about to die. He had nearly finished his course, and had the prospect of soon departing.

(2.) He was forsaken by his friends, and left to bear his sorrows alone. They on whom he might have relied, had left him; and to all his outward sufferings, there was added this, one of the keenest which his Master endured before him, that his friends forsook him, and left him to bear his sorrows alone.

(3.) Yet his mind is calm, and his faith in the gospel is unshaken. tie expresses no regret that he had embraced the gospel; no sorrow that he had been so zealous in it as to bring these calamities upon himself. That gospel he still loves, and his great solicitude is, that his young friend may never shrink from avowing it, though it may call him also to pass through scenes of persecution and sorrow.

(4.) In the general apostasy, the turning away of those on whom he might have relied, it is refreshing and interesting, to find mention made of one unshaken friend, 2 Ti 4:16. He never swerved in his affections. He had been kind to him in former years of comparative honour, and he did not leave him now in the dark day of adversity. It is always interesting to find true friendship in this world—friendship that survives all reverses, and that is willing to manifest itself when the great mass turn coldly away. There is such a thing as friendship, and there is such a thing as religion; and when they meet and mingle in the same heart, the one strengthens the other; and then neither persecution, nor poverty, nor chains, will prevent our doing good to him who is in prison is about to die. See Barnes "2 Ti 4:16".

 

{f} "that day" Mt 25:34-40

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