Paul is sad that so many of his close ministry associates are not by his side while he is in prison. Some are afraid, some are busy doing ministry in other countries (as Paul trained them to be), one actively worked against Paul. Should Paul be upset that he is basically alone in prison? Should he expect something more of his fellow Christians? YES.
Jesus taught us to visit each other when we are sick or in prison (Matt 25). No matter how busy I get, or how embarrassed I am, I need to follow Jesus and support my brothers and sisters.
These are the last words of Paul, a man who persecuted the church, then was called by Jesus and did so much to spread the Good News. He ended his life with strong friends, though at times let down by then. He ended with missionary churches all over the ancient world, churches that were even planting new churches. He ended by being strong in Christ, the One he loved, the One who gave him strength.
2 Timothy 4:9-22
9Timothy, please come as soon as you can. 10Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus has gone to Dalmatia. 11Only Luke is with me. Bring Mark with you when you come, for he will be helpful to me in my ministry. 12I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13When you come, be sure to bring the coat I left with Carpus at Troas. Also bring my books, and especially my papers.a
14Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm, but the Lord will judge him for what he has done. 15Be careful of him, for he fought against everything we said.
16The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me. Everyone abandoned me. May it not be counted against them. 17But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear. And he rescued me from certain death.b 18Yes, and the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into his heavenly Kingdom. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.
Paul’s Final Greetings
19Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila and those living in the household of Onesiphorus. 20Erastus stayed at Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick at Miletus.
21Do your best to get here before winter. Eubulus sends you greetings, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brothers and sisters.c
22May the Lord be with your spirit. And may his grace be with all of you.