Saturday, 19 May 2018
Do your utmost to come before winter.
Eubulus greets you, as well as Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brethren. 2 Timothy 4:21
Paul had asked for Timothy to come to him quickly in verse 9. He then asked him to bring his cloak in verse 13. He now says, “Do your utmost to come before winter.” Putting the three together, it appears that Paul may have needed the cloak to stay warm while in prison. Rather than impose on someone else to purchase him a cloak, and knowing that Timothy was on his way anyway, it seems that his bringing this valuable possession would save burdening others, and save his life from a miserable winter.
After this, he then passes on greetings from others. In verse 19, he had asked for his greetings to be passed on to some. Now he does the passing on of them. Paul is very orderly in his thoughts as he writes to his young protege. Each of the names of this verse is found only here in the Bible. He starts first with, “Eubulus greets you.” The name is Greek, coming from two words which mean “good” and “to plan with full resolve.” Thus, he is Good-willer.
He then notes three others. The first is Pudens. The name is Latin and signifies “modest.” Next is Linus whose name is that of a mythical minstrel. It perhaps comes from linon, the string of a musical instrument which is of flax or linen. It is believed that he became the first in a long line of bishops in Rome. Charles Ellicott notes that the date of his consecration corresponds with the year of Paul’s martyrdom, and so it is possible that Paul personally ordained him as one of his final acts.
And finally is mentioned a female, Claudia. It is the feminine form of the Latin name of a Roman emperor, Claudius. Paul then finishes with, “and all the brethren.” The first four were probably close to Timothy and wanted personal greetings sent on. However, the entire congregation at Rome desired to be remembered to Timothy. It is a touching note of familiarity for Paul’s young protege to cherish until he would again see their faces.
The greetings of these individuals which are passed on to Timothy demonstrate that Timothy should not be in fear of coming and thus being considered an enemy of Rome because of his association with Paul. Rather, these others had obviously visited Paul, talked with him, and even known that he would be writing to Timothy. In this, they sent greetings along. All of it shows that even though Paul was on trial for his life, this did not necessarily transfer suspicion to others.
Life application: How good and how pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity.
Lord God, it is a marvelous thing that believers in Christ can fellowship together, even around the world via the internet. We really live in a blessed age in this respect. New acquaintances are made, friendships are established, and churches have the ability to reach out and share in You even around the entire globe. How wonderful to imagine the even greater fellowship which lies ahead for us! Certainly, marvelous things are in store for the redeemed of the Lord! Thank You for this sure hope that we possess. Amen.