Sunday, October 11, 2009

Paul's nutritious friend

Sometimes I like odd verses in the Bible. 2 Timothy 4:20 says
"Erastus remained at Corinth, and I left Trophimus, who was ill, at Miletus."
I learned of this verse in a Bible study I was in, and not from reading the Bible. I never noticed it before. Paul was given a great power from God to heal the sick, and a lot of people came to him. He was a great healer. Then his friend had to be left behind because he was ill.

Here is what I thought.
I was impressed that Paul, who was given such a great power to heal people in public, wrote in his letter the fact that his friend was sick. To me, it clearly shows that Paul knew who he was: he was not the one who healed. God gave the power to Paul and Paul knew that. People around him might have thought that it was not good for Paul's friend to remain being sick because it would hinder his ministry... That's how humans think. The healer's friend had to be left behind because he was sick?? To me, it only reveals Paul's humble heart more. He knew the power came from God alone. Healing never exceeds Jesus himself!

When I went to the Blue Letter Bible, though, I started to think that maybe Trophimus was not sick because the original Greek word for 'sick' is not necessarily 'sick'. I am not a scholar, but I thought it was an interesting point. The outline of Biblical usage is:

1) to be weak, feeble, to be without strength, powerless

2) to be weak in means, needy, poor

3) to be feeble, sick

And the interesting thing is the meaning of Paul's friend Trophimus. Trophimus means "nutritious". Wow. Interesting! I almost feel like this nutritious friend might have been just weak and needed to rest...maybe too much ministry with Paul??? Just my guess.

(from 09/10/2008)

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