Today’s Bible readings can be found at this link: Isaiah 66:10-16 and 2 Timothy 4:9-22.

2 Timothy 4:11 – Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.

I find today’s highlighted verse fascinating. It seems the two Gospel writers, Mark and Luke, were closely involved with Paul toward the end of his life. Luke had traveled extensively with him throughout the Mediterranean; John Mark had initially worked with him on his earlier missions. From this passage, Paul is isolated and has been abandoned by some of his friends. He seeks the company of Mark and Luke, probably because he feels he can trust them and perhaps still influence their own ministries.

I find it fascinating because I’ve heard and read many people write or say that they ignore Paul’s Letters and just live as Christians by purely following the Gospels. They seem to think that Paul had nothing to do with how the Gospels were written or what they contained. Today’s verse proves them wrong – Paul had a deep and personal interest in the ministries of the Gospel writers, so he must have given them guidance on what they eventually wrote.

Some of the anti-Pharisee stories and the trial of Jesus reveal great insights into how the Pharisees operated at that time. Paul called himself a Pharisee of Pharisees, who had personal access to the High Priests and the great Pharisee teachers of both his and Christ’s time. It is my personal opinion that some of these Gospel insights came from Paul, the Pharisee Persecutor, who would have received a lot of personal inside information about the encounters that Christ and His followers had with the Sanhedrin Council, the High Priest and local Pharisees. At one time, he needed the information to condemn, arrest and imprison members of the new Christian sect. It’s amazing to think that what was given to him to persecute the faith, ended up in our Gospel stories from the pens of Luke and Mark, which were written in order to expand the faith. God surely does work in mysterious and wonderful ways!

Questions for personal reflection

What do I think about Paul? How has his influence shaped my Christian faith?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You personally chose Paul to be the appointed Apostle to the Gentile nations. His work for You has shaped who we are Christians today. Help us to recognize his worth to You, as well as his influence over our personal faithful lives. In Your Holy Name, we thankfully pray. Amen.

Today’s image is one of John’s Communion drawings called ‘Word.’ If you would like to view a larger version, please click on this link: Word.