Thursday, 15 March 2018
…but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very zealously and found me. 2 Timothy 1:17
Still speaking of Onesiphorus of the previous verse, Paul continues to relay the remarkable nature of the faithful brother. He had come to Rome, an exceptionally large city, and he had searched out Paul. Unlike his first captivity, where he was kept in a house with a guard (see Acts 28:16), he was probably now confined in a prison. In order to find him, he would have had to go to each prison and ask if he was there. Paul also may have been kept in some other place related to state prisoners, rather than a common prison. No matter, there had to be a lot of asking around. As Paul says, “he sought me out very zealously.”
Paul knew the amount of trouble that Onesiphorus must have gone through in order to find him, and his heart must have been overjoyed when he came in and gave a brotherly Christian greeting. Imagine the questions! Imagine the joy! And for Onesiphorus, imagine the relief! The quality of Onesiphorus’ faithfulness is set in stark contrast to those who knew Paul, knew where he was, and yet abandoned him. Take normal life, add in a bit of trial or trouble, and what is the standard result? It is normally a parting of the ways and a, “Best wishes to you.” Onesiphorus was not such a person.
Life application: How caring are you about those who are down and out? Are you there for hospital visits? Are you there for the good times and the bad? How strong your ties are depends on how willing you are to expend yourself for them. And that takes advanced planning and conviction that you will stand fast and be true. God could have left us all captives, and it would not have changed His lot one little bit. But He didn’t just care and speak comforting words. Rather, He came to our prison and took our place in our deserved execution. Think about that as your fellow Christian sits alone and miserable.
Lord God, the world is one large prison, and its inmates are all under the sentence of death. It would not change who You are at all to allow us to receive our just due. But instead, You sent us letters of encouragement, promising to come visit. And then You came, visited, consoled, and even accepted our sentence of execution – in our place! You have set the captives free. How willing are we to act in a similar manner toward our fellow men when they are in their own place of trouble and trial? Give us compassionate hearts to empathize with those who still need freedom from the sentence they bear. Amen.