2 What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
2 Timothy 2:2
What are the words you would say to someone if you knew that they would be your last? Would you share an emotional moment full of love, encourage them in the faith, or even prepare them for the future?
While in a Roman prison cell awaiting his execution, Paul wrote this final letter to Timothy, who was serving the church in Ephesus. As Paul’s time on earth was coming to an end, he knew he must leave Timothy with a greater understanding of the truth of God’s word and his responsibility regarding it. Thus, Paul’s letter was full of appreciation, encouragement and wisdom.
One of the most important things Paul clearly understood was that the gospel was worth sharing. Paul further understood that for Timothy to be the most effective in his ministry, he would need to equip people who would be able to teach others. Again, we see the biblical concept of making disciples.
Does this not sound familiar? Right before His ascension into heaven, Jesus said to His disciples, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28: 18-20). Just like Jesus’ departing words, Paul echoed the same lasting command to Timothy.
So, what is your strategy for discipleship? Paul tells us that in order for our faith to continue from generation to generation, we are to be intentionally investing in and equipping faithful people who will then be able to teach others. May we take heart, remembering that the power and ability for this multi-generational process of discipleship to take place is through “the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1).
Questions to Ask Yourself
- At the end of your life, will you be able to tell those you love to share the story of salvation just as you have done?
- Does the gospel mean so much to you that you will make sure it continues to be shared with the next generation?
- How are you actively and intentionally committing the gospel to faithful men and women and teaching them to do the same?