Paul was is a secluded dark damp prison (16,17). He had no income nor any remaining reserve cash to supply his needs. Many who he considered friends and disciples were ashamed of him, did not look for him, nor help him (15). He was lonely and in desire need.
One man, Onesiphorus kept searching Rome till he found Paul (17). He showed him mercy. He supplied his needs. He was not ashamed of Paul. Onesiphorus risked his life and income to help Paul. Paul prayed that the Lord may show Onesiphorus mercy.
Paul was concerned for Timothy at this time. I can imagine that when Onesiphorus finally found Paul questions were asked about friends. After the relief and shared love, Paul asked how his friends were doing in the midst of new persecution. Onesiphorus shared that many stopped attending services and some abandoned the faith. Others were ashamed of Paul and afraid of Nero’s nationwide persecution against Christians. So Paul instructed Timothy to remember to teach what he heard Paul teach with faith and love (13).
Some parallels are found today. In much of the world, Christians have been persecuted, harassed, robbed, jailed, and murdered. Some stopped going to services because they are afraid of becoming sick of a virus. They will go shopping, work, and school. But they stopped going to church. Fear has separated us as water separates rocks and leaves.
During this time of fear and hostilities, I need to apply Jesus and the apostle’s teachings in my life. I need to be like Onesiphorus and assist others in need, those who live by and teach the truth of Jesus. I will not let fear keep me from fellowship with believers in Christ.