The End of Paul

Paul opens his letter to Timothy, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope,” (I Tim. 1:1).

Paul is writing from a Roman prison cell. “Apostle” in Greek and Hebrew simply means one sent. Paul, “a sent one,” sitting in a Roman cell? An old cistern, dark and dank, 19 feet beneath the ground? Chariots and foot traffic rolling over this apostle of Messiah’s head as if he is not there?

In prison he’s an apostle? Yes, unreservedly, yes! even in that buried cell, he is still sent from God.

Paul had seen the glory of the Jerusalem Temple. He sat with the greatest teachers. He saw the glory of Yeshua/Jesus on the road to Damascus. He spread the Gospel to nations. Hoping to arrive in Rome in freedom, yet he arrived in chains. Is this his end?

How is he able to keep such a vision of his call, when it appears that his end will be in a cell? Yeshua.

“For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day,” (II Tim. 1:12).

There is not a line of self-pity in either of the letters to Timothy. Why? He knows in whom he has trusted, and both he and the work committed to him will be kept into glory, it will not be buried in Rome, as it is the work of the resurrected Messiah.

Rome tossed Paul into a cell, perhaps, in their view, to a meaningless end; yet, the empire of Rome that sought his end, ended up in the dustbin of history itself: relics of greatness amid the continued witness of Messiah to the world.

If you are feeling that your present circumstance will bring to an end the work the Lord set you to, fear not, Paul did not end in a cell, he reached the goal of his race, Yeshua Himself.

Be well. Shalom.

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