Tuesday, September 8, 2009

2nd Timothy study, Part 25

Hi Y'all! Sorry I've not been posting the Bible study. Remember to pray before we begin today. Btw, now, there isn't much meat, it is Paul's greetings and benediction.

9. Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:

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

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

The first thing Paul says is, "Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me." Or, in other words, Paul is telling them to make it a top priority to come to him soon. Why would he say that? I don't really know, my guess is that where Paul was, there was a ton of people who wanted to learn more about God, and those that needed to be reached with the gospel; but Paul is only one man, he could not personally talk with everyone! So, he needed help. But we must also remember that this letter is to Timothy, Paul might want him to come not only for him to help him, but so that Paul can teach Timothy more.

He tells Timothy next about a man named, Demas. What about him? He says that he has forsaken him (Paul), and loves the world, and has gone to Thessalonica. What does it mean to love this present world? Well, "this present world" refers to the lusts and evil things of this world. For example money, clothes, stuff in general, etc. To love this world, means that you love things of this world more than you love God. A Christian should want to leave as soon as possible so they can go to be with their Heavenly Father! Where is Thessalonica? Thessalonica was a city in Macedonia/Greece at the time of Paul, here is a map.

Paul lists two more people, Crescens and Titus. I am not sure if these two people were also deserters, or if they were still spreading the gospel, or what. All we know is that Crescens went to Galatia, and Titus went to Dalmatia. I'm afraid I don't know where, and couldn't find a map of where Dalmatia is. :( It must have been too small for the maps. If anyone knows where in the world that is (literally!) then let me know! I'll post it! One other thing, I don't know if the Titus mentioned here, is the same that Paul wrote the letter/book of Titus to.

The next person he mentions is in verse eleven. His name is Luke. Luke was the writer of the books of Acts and Luke. He was also a doctor. What made Luke special is that he was a very learned man, a doctor; but, instead of settling down in a busy town and making some money, he accompanied Paul in his missionary journeys. He even posed as a slave so that he could go with Paul to prison! Also, Luke was kind and loyal. He was probably not a very good preacher, but his other qualities made him a very useful tool for God's kingdom.

Next is Mark. Who was Mark? His full name was actually, John Mark. I knew nothing about this man until I read about him in Barclay's commentary. What he says is quite interesting, I might type it out sometime for y'all. :) In short, Mark went with Paul and Barnabas on a missionary journey, but Mark chickened out and went home. After that Barnabas wanted to take him on the next journey, for he was a relative, but Paul would not do it, so, Paul and Barnabas split up; and it looks like they never got back together. Mark's mother's house was probably the one that Paul came to after being released from prison, and it might have been the center of the Jerusalem Church.

Now we've had a switch, something had to have happened, but we don't know what; because now, in this letter to Timothy, Paul wants Mark to come to him. This is a mystery....

Next, he says that Mark is "profitable to me for the ministry." Now, Paul is saying that Mark is not a deserter or quitter, but that he is profitable, he can help Paul in the ministry! What a turn of events! Barclay says what could have happened during their separation, he says that "Tradition has it that he went to Egypt and that he was the founder of the Christian Church in that country. But, whatever he did , he certainly redeemed himself."

I think that's where we'll stop today. I really enjoyed it today, I never knew that about Mark, Demas, or Luke! How cool to see how Paul interacted with other Christians of his day! Hope y'all are havin' a good week! God bless!

In Him,
Buttercup :)

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