Being mindful of thy tears - Whether the apostle refers to the affecting parting with the Ephesian Church, mentioned Acts 20:37, or to the deep impressions made on Timothy's heart when he instructed him in the doctrine of Christ crucified, or to some interview between themselves, it is not certainly known. The mention of this by the apostle is no small proof of his most affectionate regards for Timothy, whom he appears to have loved as a father loves his only son.
Greatly desiring to see thee; - see 2 Timothy 4:9, 2 Timothy 4:21. It was probably on, account of this earnest desire that this Epistle was written. He wished to see him, not only on account of the warm friendship which he had for him, but because he would be useful to him in his present circumstances; see the introduction, Section 3.
Being mindful of thy tears - Alluding probably to the tears which he shed at parting from him. The occasion to which he refers is not mentioned; but nothing is more probable than that Timothy would weep when separated from such a father and friend. It is not wrong thus to weep, for religion is not intended to make us stoics or savages.
That I may be filled with joy - By seeing you again. It is easy to imagine what joy it would give Paul, then a prisoner, and forsaken by nearly all his friends, and about to die, to see a friend whom he loved as he did this young man. Learn hence, that there may be very pure and warm friendship between an old and young man, and that the warmth of true friendship is not diminished by the near prospect of death.
You can be just what Christ said His disciples should be—“the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). You should diffuse that light, hope, and faith to others. You are not to go groaning your way onward in His service, as though He were a hard taskmaster, laying upon you burdens that you cannot carry. This is not the case. He wants you to be filled with joy, to be filled with the blessing of God, to know the length and breadth and height and depth of the love of God, which passeth knowledge. When His name is mentioned He wants it to strike the keynote, and there will be a response in your hearts. Then you can offer up thanksgiving and glory and honor and praise to Him that sitteth on the throne and to the Lamb. FW 78.3Read in context »