My blog is where I post things I have learned through my own personal Bible study. Join me in digging deep into the Word to find the gold hidden inside. And feel free to email me if you think there's a theological error in any of my posts or if there's a topic you want me to cover in my next post.
Paul's Last Words #8: Who Are We Like?
2 years ago.
Be diligent to come to me quickly; for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica--Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry. And Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come--and the books, especially the parchments. - 2 Timothy 4:9-13

There are 8 people mentioned in these 5 verses. At first I had no idea what to write for these verses, but I was determined not to gloss over any part of this chapter.

So I decided to do a little research in my Bible study program, Logos (see logos.com), and see what information I could discover about these 8 people.

In verse 9 Paul implores Timothy to join him quickly. We know quite a bit about Timothy; a quick search on biblegateway.com will list all the times he is mentioned in the Bible.

Numerous times the Bible stresses the importance of spiritual mentorship. Paul was Timothy's mentor (Acts 16:1-5, 1 Corinthians 4:17). He became Paul's companion and friend (1 Thessalonians 3:2), and took over Paul's ministry after Paul died (2 Timothy 4).

Timothy was a young man who stood up for God no matter what happened. He saw Paul and many other apostles give their lives for Christ. Yet he did not lose his faith. While Demas forsook Paul, Timothy stayed firm (2 Timothy 4:9-10). Timothy knew what it meant to "let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity" (1 Timothy 4:12).

Demas is the next person mentioned in this passage. The Bible narrates a sad story about him. In chronological order, the first time the Bible talks about Demas is in Philemon 1:24, where he is called a fellow laborer with Paul. He is then mentioned in Colossians 4:14, but this time no epithet is attached like there is to Luke. Finally we see him referenced in 2 Timothy 4:10. Paul says that Demas has forsaken because of his love for the world.

Is this not a common occurrence today? People hear and believe the Gospel, but then the world lures them away. Oh that such would have a strong spiritual mentor like Paul to help them remain firm!

Next person found is Crescens. We don't know much about him, as the Bible only mentions him once. From historical documents we do know that he was a friend and companion of Paul.

2 Timothy 4:10 says that Crescens went to Galatia, but this does not necessarily mean he was another deserter of the faith. Titus was also mentioned there as having gone to a city, yet there is nothing we know that can align Titus with the position of a deserter. Who knows? Crescens got no biography in the Bible about his ministry; maybe he was a servant of God who served in the background and was averse to recognition.

This brings us to Titus. Like Timothy, we know quite a bit about Titus, from the Bible and from historical documents. He was a pastor, and was one of two pastors whose letters from Paul are part of the Bible (the other is Timothy). He was not a Jew (Galatians 2:3), was a partner and fellow worker with Paul (2 Corinthians 8:23) and accompanied Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem (Galatians 2:1-10). His apostolic role looks to be a similar one to Paul's, and he appears not to journey as much as Paul did. He was also probably nearer Paul's age and not a comparative youth like Timothy was. 2 Corinthians 8:6 and 12:17-18 show that he probably was the deliverer of the Corinthian epistles, and was a trusted apostle (2 Corinthians 12:17-18).

From all of this and more, (which by the way, you should be doing your own study as well and not just taking my word for it), we can see that Titus was a trustworthy minister of the gospel. Trust is something precious, and a worthy jewel is a person you can trust.

Looking now at verse 11, the first person we come across is Luke. Luke is only mentioned twice in the Bible, so we don't know all that much about him, except what the two verses tell us. Colossians 4:14 tell us that he was a physician and beloved by Paul. 2 Timothy 4:11 says that Luke was with Paul, so this could logically be assumed because when Paul wrote 2 Timothy 4, he was near the end of his life, and probably needed medical attention, which Luke could give.

Mark, whose real name was John (Acts 12:12;25, 15:37), accompanied many of the apostles on their missionary journeys (Acts 12:25, 15:37;39). He was a helpful apostle and Philemon 1:24 calls him a fellow laborer.

Tychicus was an Asian Christian, according to historical documents. He appears to have been an active messenger for the apostles, and was the messenger that delivered the epistle to the Ephesians (Ephesians 6:21), and the epistle to the Colossians (Colossians 4:7-8). He may have delivered other letters too.

Delivering letters back then wasn't just putting a letter in the mailbox or driving to a post office. He had to travel all the way from his starting point to his destination. If caught with this letter, he probably would have been put to death. Yet Tychicus was determined to bring the message no matter the risk.

Like Crescens, Carpus is a little-known Christian who does not appear in any historical documents and is mentioned only once in Scripture. All we know about him is that he was a Christian in Troas with whom Paul left his cloak and parchments (2 Timothy 4:13). Because Paul left his cloak and parchments with Carpus, which would logically mean at his house, Paul and those with him probably stayed at Carpus' house. Wouldn't it be awesome to have Paul or another apostle stop in at our house? But we have what is even greater: The Lord Jesus Christ is with us all the time, wherever we go. How better can that get?

So now it's show time. Who are we like? Are we like Timothy, learning from our spiritual mentors, preparing ourselves to be the leaders of the next generation? Are we willing to serve in the background without recognition like Crescens may have done? Are we trustworthy like Titus--if we were called by God to do something, could we be trusted to do it? Do others call us, like Luke was, because of our relationships with those around us? Do we work alongside those serving God like John Mark did? Are we like Tychicus, determined to deliver the message no matter what? Carpus opened up his house to Paul and his companions. Do we assist those in ministry in whatever ways we can? Or instead, do we let the charms of the world distract us and draw us away from God?

I said earlier in this post that you should be studying along with me, and not simply taking my word for it. In preparation for the next post, study 2 Timothy 4:14-18 and compare your study with my next post. See ya then.