14That thou, keep the commandment. By the word commandment he means all that he hath hitherto said about the office of Timothy, the sum of which was, that he should show himself to be a faithful minister to Christ and to the Church. What is the use of extending this to the whole law? But perhaps it will be thought preferable to view it as denoting the office which he had received by divine authority; for we are appointed to be ministers of the Church on no other condition than this, that God enjoins upon us whatever he wishes us to do. Thus to “ the commandment” would be nothing else than to discharge honestly the office committed to him. I certainly view it as referring altogether to the ministry of Timothy.
Spotless and unblameable (129) Whether we consider the case or the termination (130) of the two Greek adjectives which are thus translated, they may apply either to the commandment given, or to the person of Timothy; but the meaning which I have assigned is much more appropriate. (131) Paul informs Timothy, that he must he wish to discharge his office in a proper manner.
Till the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ It is impossible to tell how necessary it was to all the godly, at that time, to have their mind entirely fixed on the day of Christ; because innumerable offenses existed everywhere in the world. They were assailed on every hand, were universally hated and abhorred, were exposed to the mockeries of all, were oppressed every day with new calamities; and yet they saw no fruit of so many toils and annoyances. What then remained, but that in thought they should fly away to that blessed day of our redemption?
Yet the same reason is in force with regard to us in the present day, and indeed applies equally to almost every age. How many things does Satan constantly present to our eyes, which, but for this, would a thousand times draw us aside from the right course! I say nothing about fires, and swords, and banishments, and all time furious attacks of enemies. I say nothing about slanders and other vexations. How many things are within, that are far worse! Ambitious men openly attack us, Epicureans and Lucianists jeer at us, impudent men provoke us, hypocrites murmur at us, they who are wise after the flesh secretly bite us, we are harassed by various methods in every direction. In short, it is a great miracle that any man perseveres steadfastly in an office so difficult and so dangerous. The only remedy for all these difficulties is, to cast our eyes towards the appearing of Christ, and to keep them fixed on it continually.(132)
(129) “Sans macule et sans reprehension :” — “ spot and without censure.”
(130) That is, they may be either in the accusative case masculine, agreeing with
Τιμόθεον or in the accusative case feminine, agreeing with
ἐντολήν — Ed.
(131) “Nonobstant il est beaucoup plus propre de les rapporter a sa personne.” — “ it is much more suitable to view them. as relating to his person.”
(132) “ might, indeed, be weakened in their faith, when they looked at present things. For, as to the great people in this world, what would they wish but to rise above the Church, and trample God under their feet? We see that they sport with religion as with a ball. We even see that they are deadly enemies of it, and that they persecute it with such rage that everybody is terrified at them. We see these things. Yet what shall be said of the children of God? They are pointed at with the finger, they are thought to be fools, so that what is said by the Prophet Isaiah is today fulfilled in us, that unbelievers reckon us to be monsters. (Isa_8:18.) ‘ These poor fools? What are they thinking about? What do they mean? We must live with the living, and howl with the wolves. They wish to be always in a state of perplexity. They speak of nothing but eternal life, and have no leisure for enjoyment.’ Thus it is that we are accounted fools and madmen by unbelievers. And Peter says, (2Pe_3:2,) that this must be fulfilled in us, as the prophet Isaiah had made the complaint in his time; Christians must experience the like in the present day.” — Fr. Ser.