2 Timothy 1:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Timothy 1:4, NIV: Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.

2 Timothy 1:4, ESV: As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy.

2 Timothy 1:4, KJV: Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;

2 Timothy 1:4, NASB: longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy.

2 Timothy 1:4, NLT: I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again.

2 Timothy 1:4, CSB: Remembering your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy.

What does 2 Timothy 1:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul continues his encouragement from the previous verse. Here, he acknowledges Timothy's grief over Paul's imprisonment. In his writing, "tears" represent profound sadness for Paul. Paul spoke of shedding tears himself on several occasions (Acts 20:19, 31; 2 Corinthians 2:4; Philippians 3:18). As part of the encouragement, Paul tells Timothy he longs to see him. In fact, at the end of this letter, Paul urges Timothy to visit him in Rome (2 Timothy 4:21).

Paul's desire to see Timothy was not only for Timothy's sake, but also for his own. Timothy was one of his closest friends in ministry. They had served together for several years, including in Paul's ministry work leading up to this current imprisonment. Though many had abandoned Paul along the way, Timothy was consistently noted as a source of joy. Paul's letters make it clear that Timothy was one of his closest and dearest friends. Paul describes him as a fellow worker (Romans 16:21), Paul's "beloved and faithful child in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 4:17), a brother (2 Corinthians 1:1), a servant of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:1), like a son (Philippians 2:22), and a true child in the faith (1 Timothy 1:2).