2 Timothy 4 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of 2 Timothy 4)

Verse 1

[1] I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

I charge thee therefore — This is deduced from the whole preceding chapter.

At his appearing and his kingdom — That is, at his appearing in the kingdom of glory.

Verse 2

[2] Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Be instant — Insist on, urge these things in season, out of season - That is, continually, at all times and places. It might be translated, with and without opportunity - Not only when a fair occasion is given: even when there is none, one must be made.

Verse 3

[3] For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

For they will heap up teachers — Therefore thou hast need of "all longsuffering." According to their own desires - Smooth as they can wish.

Having itching ears — Fond of novelty and variety, which the number of new teachers, as well as their empty, soft, or philosophical discourses, pleased. Such teachers, and such hearers, seldom are much concerned with what is strict or to the purpose.

Heap to themselves — Not enduring sound doctrine, they will reject the sound preachers, and gather together all that suit their own taste. Probably they send out one another as teachers, and so are never at a loss for numbers.

Verse 5

[5] But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

Watch — An earnest, constant, persevering exercise. The scripture watching, or waiting, implies steadfast faith, patient hope, labouring love, unceasing prayer; yea, the mighty exertion of all the affections of the soul that a man is capable of.

In all things — Whatever you are doing, yet in that, and in all things, watch. Do the work of an evangelist - Which was next to that of an apostle.

Verse 6

[6] For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

The time of my departure is at hand — So undoubtedly God had shown him.

I am ready to be offered up — Literally, to be poured out, as the wine and oil were on the ancient sacrifices.

Verse 8

[8] Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

The crown of that righteousness - Which God has imputed to me and wrought in me.

Will render to all — This increases the joy of Paul, and encourages Timotheus. Many of these St. Paul himself had gained.

That have loved his appearing — Which only a real Christian can do. I say a real Christian, to comply with the mode of the times: else they would not understand, although the word Christian necessarily implies whatsoever is holy, as God is holy. Strictly speaking, to join real or sincere to a word of so complete an import, is grievously to debase its noble signification, and is like adding long to eternity or wide to immensity.

Verse 9

[9] Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:

Come to me — Both that he might comfort him, and be strengthened by him. Timotheus himself is said to have suffered at Ephesus.

Verse 10

[10] For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

Demas — Once my fellowlabourer, Philemon 1:24. Hath forsaken me. Crescens, probably a preacher also, is gone, with my consent, to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia, having now left Crete. These either went with him to Rome, or visited him there.

Verse 11

[11] Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

Only Luke — Of my fellowlabourers, is with me - But God is with me; and it is enough.

Take Mark — Who, though he once "departed from the work," is now again profitable to me.

Verse 13

[13] The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.

The cloak — Either the toga, which belonged to him as a Roman citizen, or an upper garment, which might be needful as winter came on.

Which I left at Troas with Carpus — Who was probably his host there.

Especially the parchments — The books written on parchment.

Verse 14

[14] Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:

The Lord will reward him — This he spoke prophetically.

Verse 16

[16] At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

All — My friends and companions.

Forsook me — And do we expect to find such as will not forsake us? My first defence - Before the savage emperor Nero.

Verse 17

[17] Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

The preaching — The gospel which we preach.

Verse 18

[18] And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work — Which is far more than delivering me from death. Yea, and, over and above, preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom - Far better than that of Nero.

Verse 20

[20] Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.

When I came on, Erastus abode at Corinth - Being chamberlain of the city, Romans 16:23.

But Trophimus I have left sick — Not having power (as neither had any of the apostles) to work miracles when he pleased, but only when God pleased.