Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.
– 2 Timothy 2:8-10 NASB
2 Timothy is the second letter that the apostle Paul wrote to his young assistant Timothy. In these letters, Paul gives instruction to Timothy about how he is to conduct his ministry for the Lord Jesus Christ in Paul’s absence.
When Paul tells Timothy “Remember Jesus Christ,” it’s not as if Timothy might forget that name. Rather, Paul is reminding Timothy of the way Jesus is to be thought of: first of all as Jesus the Messiah, for this is what “Jesus Christ” means. Remember that Jesus was not formally proclaimed as Christ (Messiah) until He was raised from the dead. Hence Paul says, “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead.”
As for the phrase “descendant of David,” this is a reference to the fact that Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection were prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures – what we today call the Old Testament. Though these messianic prophecies applied many titles to the Messiah, “son of David” was one of the most well-known ones. Thus Paul is reminding Timothy to preach not that Jesus was raised from the dead in an intellectual vacuum, but rather according to the promises of God attested richly from ancient times.
Paul had been preaching this gospel – that is, good news – about Jesus in the face of considerable opposition. Paul took the matter so personally that he called this good news “my gospel” even though it was “the word of God” and therefore applicable and available to all men.
Notice also that Paul specifies what’s inherent in the gospel of Jesus Christ: salvation. This concept of being saved by a Savior, if you will, is one we’ve been focused on in recent days. Note that Paul confirms just what we’ve seen from other biblical writers: that salvation is what is to be found in Christ Jesus. (Since Christ is a title, it can come either before or after the proper name.)
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for being a wellspring of salvation, rescuing my life from the pits to which my sins would otherwise take me…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.