9 Make every effort to come to me soon; 10 for Demas, having loved this presentworld, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service. 12 But Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 When you come bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments.
I feel it is always easy for me to skip over and ignore the ending of books in the bible, especially books (letters) that end in personal greeting and salutations. It is in there for a reason though…and committing to reading a book of the bible in its entirety pushes us to see what is going on here.
It seems Paul didn’t always keep good friends with everyone. His tone about Demas isn’t necessarily a good one, while his mention of Crescens and Titus are that they merely went somewhere else. Who is Demas? Does anyone know?
The mention of Luke helps us tie together books and events, as Luke wrote the book of Acts and recorded much of Paul’s activities in it. In the 15th chapter of the Book of Acts, Luke records a disagreement between Barnabas and John Mark (referred to here as Mark), “36 After some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brethren in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, called Mark, along with them also. 38 But Paul kept insisting that they should not take him along who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. 39 And there occurred such a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus. 40 But Paul chose Silas and left, being committed by the brethren to the grace of the Lord. 41 And he was traveling through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.” What do we see now? That Paul and John Mark were able to get over their differences because in the end, they are brothers. Maybe Paul wanted Mark to come along so they could settle their differences.
My question is: what books and parchments did Paul want to read just before he died? I think it is natural for someone to want some familiar comforts or possibly some personal belongings when they know the end is near. What did Paul want? His coat, some books, and his closest friends.
What is important to you today? If you knew today was your last, what would you ask for? Who would you spend it with, what would you do? Are the things that we act as if they are important really that important? How much time do we spend playing on our phones, watching tv, or being alone? Seize what is left of today and every day, for that matter, because it very well could be your last. Would you die knowing you could better a situation but didn’t? How many regrets would you have?