At the writing of 2 Timothy, Timothy is still in Ephesus but Paul is in a different situation altogether. He has been arrested again (after writing 1 Timothy) and placed in Roman prison. This time however, he is without his parchments, companions, a rented house; and is inaccessible.
He is totally alone. Under Emperor Nero he is expecting that he will not even make the next big change of season. This is Paul’s last letter and nothing will be heard from his pen again. At least nothing new: we still have 2 Timothy with us and Paul speaks on!
His epistle is very personal. He mentions twenty-three individuals by name. Much like Paul’s tears when he left the Ephesian elders on the beach in Acts 20, you can almost hear the trembling, emotional crackle of an emotive voice speaking in this letter to Timothy: “Hold on”; “keep fighting the fight”; “stay the course”; “Jesus is coming”; “He is faithful”; “Don’t hold back” are some of his impassioned pleas.
2 Timothy is best read with the emotion and sobriety of a last-time meeting between you and your father, knowing you will not see the man again. Hear Paul, see his confidence and total assurance that we have not believed in vain, and then try to live so that one day you too can say: “I have finished the race and am waiting for my prize, because I did what I what supposed to do.”