May 26 – 2 Timothy 3:10-4:8
Paul starts this section by addressing Timothy with “you, however…” Remember back to previous weeks; Paul is instructing Timothy on how to navigate quarrels that had arisen in his church. In 3:1-9 Paul talks about these quarrelsome people, but then begins contrasting Timothy with them.
So unlike those people, Timothy has followed Paul’s life, his efforts of faithfulness and his endurance in suffering. Paul charges Timothy to continue in what he has already believed, to keep putting into practice what he already knows and does. This call to steadfastness is fundamental to the Christian life.
In this call, Paul directs Timothy to God’s word. Here we get a marvelous verse you’ve likely heard before, which we rely on for helping us understand both the nature of the Bible’s inspiration and its role in our lives, “Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”(3:16) Paul tells Timothy that scripture is crucial for his endurance and steadfastness, and then immediately charges him to preach the word towards others. While not all of us are getting behind a podium every week, we should see in this that scripture has an impetus to it; we take scripture in from God to our benefit, and then we share it out to others for their benefit. This is such a serious endeavor that Paul mentions the Final Judgment in 4:1. He reminds Timothy that he will have to answer to Jesus himself about whether or not he was faithful in leading others with the Word.
As an aside, being ready to preach “in season and out of season” means something like when you plan on it and when you don’t, when it’s convenient and when it isn’t. Our responsibility towards others isn’t up to our choosing or on our terms.
Questions for Discussion
• Can someone read 2 Timothy 3:10-4:8 for us?
• What stood out to you from the passage?
• What is Paul charging Timothy to do?
• What does this have to say about scripture and its role in our lives?
• What do you think this passage is teaching you or convicting you of?
• Why do you think Paul brings up judgment in 4:1 when charging Timothy to preach the word?
• Based on this passage, how does God enable us to do the work of following Jesus?