At the beginning of this letter Paul makes the comment that he is serving God as his ancestors did. He does not see any discontinuity between worshipping the risen Christ and his Jewish background. Paul is thankful for Timothy because everyone in the province of Asia has deserted him (1:15). Paul takes some solace in his plight because, “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned” (3:12-14). He knows that he is not alone and he expects that Timothy will continue in what he learned from Paul. Paul realises that his time is short and he is prepared to meet Jesus because his race is finished and he is confident that he ran well. The crown of righteousness would soon be placed on his head.
As I read this letter and learn how badly Paul was persecuted and opposed it is amazing that his letters form such a large part of the New Testament, something which some claim make him the real founder of Christianity. How did he go from being a rejected apostle to receiving great honour from the Church?