2 Timothy 1:16-18, “May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, 17 but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me… 18 may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day! — and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.”
His name and household are only mentioned two times… both in 2 Timothy. 1:16 and 4:19. In the passage above, which is only three verses, there is a wealth and testimony about how a Christian life is to be lived that is overwhelming. Consider that he ministered the Apostle Paul in the following ways…
“He often refreshed me…” There are enough people in the world who are critical, cynical, and negative. Onesiphorus was not one of them. His presence, words, and ministry were positive… uplifting… encouraging… and refreshing to one of the Lord’s servants.
“Was not ashamed of my chains…” Often when people encounter criticism, negative press, or are in some time of adversity people withdraw from them. But not Onesiphorus! My guess is that those chains of Paul were the envy of this man of God. They didn’t scare him. They didn’t cause him trepidation. He strode into the prison with hopeful expectation of ministering to a great man of God… the Apostle Paul.
“Searched for me earnestly and found me…” Onesiphorus went the extra mile to find Paul. He didn’t let anything hinder locating the one he wanted to encourage. That is what friends do. That’s what brothers and sisters do. That is what Christians do one for another. That in its self gave Paul comfort.
Then he served the church in Ephesus in some manner that was well known. Onesiphorus was not one who only served an individual… he was a servant of the church also. We don’t know what he did, but it was significant enough that it was well know within the Christian community. And here we are 2,000 years later remembering him. Wow.
There is a great lesson and call for me in the life of Onesiphorus. There might be something you could grab hold of for the Kingdom. Meditate on what is written about Oneisphorus in the Scripture. Ask God if there is a lesson you can apply.
Onesiphorus Ministry. That has a nice ring to it doesn’t it?