Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
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What is the reason of his writing this second Epistle to Timothy? He had said, I hope to come unto you shortly 1 Timothy 3:14, and as this had not taken place, instead of coming to him, he consoles him by a letter, when he was grieving perhaps for his absence, and oppressed by the cares of the government, which he had now taken in hand. For even great men, when they are placed at the helm, and are charged with the direction of the Church, feel the strangeness of their position, and are overwhelmed, as it were, by the waves of business. This was particularly the case when the Gospel was first preached, when the ground was everywhere unturned, and all was opposition and hostility. There were, besides, heresies commencing from the Jewish teachers, as he has shown in his former Epistle. Nor does he only comfort him by letters, he invites him to come to him: Do your diligence, he says, to come shortly unto me, and, when you come, bring with you the books, but especially the parchments. 2 Timothy 4:9-13 And he seems to have written this Epistle when his end was approaching. For he says, I am now ready to be offered up; and again, At my first answer no man stood with me. 2 Timothy 4:6-16 To set all this right, he both offers consolation from his own trials, and also says,
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus.
Thus at the very commencement he raises up his mind. Tell me not, he says, of the dangers here. These obtain for us eternal life, where there is no peril, where grief and mourning flee away. For He has not made us Apostles only that we might encounter dangers, but that we might even suffer and die. And as it would not be a consolation to recount to him his own troubles, but rather an increase of his grief, he begins immediately with offering comfort, saying, According to the promise of life which is in Jesus Christ. But if it is a promise, seek it not here. For, hope that is seen is not hope. Romans 8:24