II Timothy 1
1-2 | Greetings
3-7 | Paul thanks God for Timothy and his faith toward God
8-14 | Do not be ashamed of the Gospel or of Paul and remain faithful
15-18 | Phygelus and Hermogenes from Asia have turned away but Onesiphorus was helpful to Paul
Paul is writing to Timothy to encourage him to remain faithful to his calling and the faith that was instilled in him, first through his grandmother and mother, and further by Paul himself. Paul is also writing to bemoan the fact that “all who are in Asia” have “turned away from” him, except one, Onesiphorus.
Here is a great example of a Christian brother, who remains faithful to those who have fallen out of favor, so to speak. This is what happened to Paul. He had been arrested and was now in prison and rarely has visitors because he is in chains.
But that is what made Onesiphorus different. Not only was he helpful to Paul in Ephesus (v18) but also when he was in Rome he eagerly searched for Paul even though he was in chains and refreshed him (v16-17). Not only did Onesiphorus help Paul, he also provided for Prisca (Priscilla) and Aquila (4:19; Acts 18). If Timothy was looking for examples of godly men who remained faithful in times of persecution, he would do well to look to Onesiphorus as one.
The same is true for us today. Do we abandon those who continue to preach the gospel when all around him are turning to others who preach a message that is more acceptable? Or are we like Onesiphorus and actively seek out those who remain faithful in times of persecution and abandonment of the truth, to provide support and refreshment to others? Onesiphorus is still a good example for us today.
Lord God, You have granted us mercy and grace through the gospel and have given each of us a different ministry in partnership with You, so that all the world might hear the message of Your Son Jesus and the salvation that can only be found through Him in faith. Help us to be like Onesiphorus and Timothy who were not ashamed of the gospel or of those who preach the message, no matter their state, whether free or in bonds. May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, in Jesus’ name. Amen.