Sunday, 20 May 2018
The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen. 2 Timothy 4:22
Though similar to other final benedictions by Paul, this one is unique. It is divided into two independent thoughts. It conveys much the same as elsewhere then, but the division is what makes it unique. Two examples to see the difference are:
Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen. Galatians 6:18
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen. Philemon 1:25
Here he blesses Timothy first with “The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.” It is a beautiful hope and trust that Christ Jesus would personally remain united to him at all times, guiding him and comforting him through all situations. No matter what need arose, no matter what trial was to be faced, Paul desired that the Lord would be with him. It is reflective of the words of the Lord found in Hebrews 13:5 which state, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” This is Paul’s first petition. It is immediately followed up with, “Grace be with you.”
Paul would normally say something like, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you” (1 Corinthians 16:23). However, he has already included Jesus’ name and position of authority in the previous words. And so he states this final sentence in a more simplified form. Grace is unmerited favor. Paul prays that Timothy, and indeed all who read this letter, understand that God is gracious and He indeed will bless His people with grace. He prays Timothy will always receive this, being blessed with blessing continually as he lives out his life in the presence of the Lord.
To close out this marvelous epistle, he then says, “Amen.” The word means, “truth,” or “so be it.” Paul has spoken, he has completed his thoughts, he has made his benediction, and now he asks that what he has conveyed may be as it was relayed. Timothy has been blessed, and we can trust that the blessing will come to pass according to the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. May it be so.
Life application: In our world of a million emails and posts a day, it is rather easy to close our thoughts without any salutation at all. However, from time to time, we should stop and add in a blessing such as Paul has here. It is a nice touch in conveying that the person, or people, we are addressing have meaning to us, and that we desire that they be blessed with the blessing of the Lord. Let us remember this, and endeavor to follow through with it from time to time.
Lord God, You are marvelous in all ways! Thank You for Your grace which You lavish upon us each day. We deserve nothing from You, and yet You have given us all things in Christ Jesus, even to overflowing abundance. We thank You for the sure and eternal promises which are found in Him, and we praise You ceaselessly for what lies ahead! Praises to You now and forevermore. Amen.