2010-02-18 - Apprendre
2 Tim 4:13 When you come bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments. (NASB)
Apprendre - french - verb. to learn
A little background. Paul is writing what would probably be his last letter to his son in the faith, Timothy. The letter is personal containing thanks and encouragement that grace has passed on to us. Paul is in prison in Rome under Nero sentenced to death. In verse six Paul says, "For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come."
The things Paul asks Timothy to bring: a cloak. It is not hard to imagine that the cell that Paul is kept is cold and miserable at best. The cloak is not a surprise. No doubt it would be a welcome item. The next two items go together: books and parchments. The books would very likely be rolls of papyrus containing Old Testament books. The parchments would be Paul's personal copies or notes possibly on skins of something called vellum - very fine parchment. It is clear that Paul knows his time of execution is close at hand. And yet he asks Timothy to bring the materials Paul uses to study to his cell. Paul still wants to learn! That is fantastic. He is not defeated. He is handing the baton to his charge, thanking those who supported him during his many journeys and setting down guidelines for church offices and for the soldier of Christ. He is leaving this life victorious.
One of the other authors this week commented on some excellent work by another author here. The comment was made that the writer had taught the reader something new and how good it was to still be learning.
I have been doing work with UNIX and Linux for longer than I want to admit - but I am still learning. I look forward to my pastor's sermons because I still learn from him; from radio programs because I still learn from those teachers too. By grace I have been able to study the Bible for longer than I have worked with computers. By the grace of God we have Bibles to read and verify what we have heard. How many of us do not hunger to learn more? There have been and still probably are people who write by hand on whatever scraps of paper the can get together whole books of the Bible while someone reads it over the radio slowly - just so they can have a copy of that book to study and cherish and carefully share. If they are found with even one page of this material it could mean years in prison under terrible conditions and treatment or being martyred. It is worth all the danger in their minds to be able to learn more about their Lord and strengthen their faith, to teach their children and friends. It would be a terrible heartbreak to see that pages they had copied confiscated or destroyed and too many of us will not pick up one of the multiple printed and annotated copies of the Bible they have in their homes.
If you do not know, ask your pastor who his mentor is. I will be amazed if he does not have a ready answer for you that he shares happily of one or two people who they are honored to know as teachers. I assure you your paster is still learning. Jesus tells us that Mary had "chosen the good part" by sitting at Jesus feet and "listening to His word." (Like 10:38-42) Mary was learning!
Choose the good part - apprendre!
Grace & Peace,