Second Timothy is Paul’s “swan song.” He wrote nothing more once he completed these words to Timothy, his “son in the faith.” The aging apostle, spending his last hours in a Roman dungeon, could feel the hot breath of death on the back of his neck. He is lonely, cold, abandoned, and flooded with memories…but not timid or desperate. These may be Paul’s final words, but there’s no self pity or bitterness—only candor and urgency.
The letter is emotional, personal, and passionate. Writing by candlelight, he expresses deep affection mixed with strong exhortations, insightful instruction, and intimate reflections. He’s passing the torch to a man who is younger than he, whom he hopes will grasp it firmly, and carry it for the rest of his life and ministry with confidence and conviction. Here is a powerful letter for the ages, written by a rugged, battle-weary warrior, preserved for all of us to read and heed so that we might finish the race strong and well.