It seems that some of the best lessons in the Scriptures are centered on the lives of various servants whom we know little about. Onesiphorus is one such servant. Certainly the apostle Paul knew a lot about this brother, and what little Paul wrote concerning him speaks volumes. It would be a great goal of each of us to have such written about our lives as servants of the Lord.
What do we know about Onesiphorus? Paul speaks of him twice in his 2nd letter to Timothy. In 2 Tim 1:16-18 we learn of Onesiphorus and his faith. First Paul asks for mercy to Onesiphorus’ household. I do not know if this is simply a call for mercy in general upon his household or if it is more specifically mentioned due to some trouble. We cannot know for sure. What we can know is that Paul thought highly of him and his household. Paul sends greetings to them later in 2 Tim 4:19, and it is worth noting Paul spoke of them in the same regard as he did Aquila and Priscilla and we know how highly Paul thought of that dear couple.
Paul wrote Onesiphorus had refreshed him and apparently he was not afraid of Paul’s chains. Onesiphorus probably served Paul in some regard while he was imprisoned in Rome, possibly when others did not. Onesiphorus arrived in Rome and sought Paul out very zealously. He obviously knew and respected Paul for his work for the Lord Jesus.
Paul again asked the Lord to grant Onesiphorus mercy in 1:18, specifically at the coming of the Lord. Again we do not know if this was due to a specific need or in general as we all need and must depend upon the Lord’s mercy. Paul then reminded Timo-thy that Onesiphorus had served him in many ways while he was at Ephesus.
Now consider the brotherhood of believers we have contact with. There are many like Onesiphorus. As an evangelist I am very privileged to humbly receive the benefits of many like this dear brother. Recently, while my vehicle was being repaired, a dear couple in the body rented a vehicle for me to use that allowed me to continue my work here in America’s Great Southwest. I was allowed to visit and teach brethren thanks to the ser-vice of this dear couple. Over the years I have had other brothers and sisters help me pur-chase things such as Bibles and other necessities I use to serve the churches. There have been many examples of those like Onesiphorus who ministered to me in many various ways.
Who are those who have served you? Remember them as Paul remembered Onesiphorus. Pray God will have mercy toward them when He returns as Paul prayed for Onesiphorus. For mercy is something we all need, and the fact that others are praying for us will indeed help. Thank you for all those like Onesiphorus who have served me and others! May the Lord indeed bless you when He comes.