Think of all the movies you’ve seen where a dying character imparts some sort of profound wisdom or insight moments before their untimely death. More significantly, think about the profundity of Jesus’ final words, both on the cross (“It is finished!”) and before ascending to heaven (“Go therefore and make disciples…”).
Here’s the point: final words matter.
Paul’s second letter to Timothy is widely regarded as Paul’s final writing prior to his execution. In this final letter, Paul leaves his ministry protegė with one final charge: preach the word (4:2).
Of all the parting wisdom that Paul could have given Timothy, why the emphasis on preaching? Because, according to Paul, it is God’s Word that is “able to make you wise for salvation” (3:15). It is God’s Word that is “breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be equipped for every good work” (3:16-17). It is the truth of God’s Word that will expose those that “[have] the appearance of godliness, but [deny] it’s power” (3:5). It is God’s Word that will confront those that “will not endure sound teaching…and will turn away from listening to the truth” (4:3-4).
If final words matter, Paul’s final words make it clear that God’s Word matters most.
Paul literally gave his life to God’s Word – both in preaching it and in penning the Spirit-inspired letters that make up a significant portion of God’s Word that we still read to this day. May we likewise be a people committed to receiving and responding to God’s Word in our own lives.