17 July 2015

2 Timothy 2:1-15

“You then, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well.” (vv. 1-2)

Psalm: Psalm 44:1-8


In today's reading the author appears to get himself in a bit of a muddle. In three successive verses we have three different metaphors - the soldier, the athlete and the farmer - each one with an apparently separate meaning. It's all a bit 'scattergun', a mishmash of important advice and sayings and knowledge - all significant, all to be passed on for the enlightenment of others.

Perhaps the author realises he's not being totally clear as he says, "Think over what I say for the Lord will give you understanding in all things" (v. 7). How much would I love the Lord to 'give me understanding in all things'?!

I have no doubt that this passage contains all manner of wisdom for those who would seek it, but for me one key theme stands out: pass it on. As the reading begins, Timothy is charged to pass on what he has learned about God on to others, who will in turn pass on what they learn.

Faith is a community affair, and we each have responsibility for sharing our particular knowledge, wisdom and experience with one another. But that also requires us to be willing to learn from others - to be open to different perspectives and allow ourselves to be challenged by the wonderful diversity of God's family.  

Christianity can never be a truly solitary experience - we are designed for community and it is in communities of faith, both large and small, that we can grow and flourish. Jesus is not merely 'my Jesus, my saviour,' but 'our Jesus, our saviour.'


To Ponder

  • What's the one thing that stands out for you most in today's passage?
  • What knowledge or experience from your Christian walk would you like to pass on to others?

Bible notes author

Anna Drew

Anna Drew is Director of Communications for the Diocese of Canterbury. She is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4's Daily Service and Prayer for the Day and a freelance writer on faith issues.