Yet for love's sake I rather beseech you, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.
No more beautiful picture of the bright energy and freshness still possible to the old was ever painted than may be gathered from the apostle's unconscious sketch of himself. He delighted in having fresh young life about him — Timothy, Titus, Mark, and others — boys in comparison with himself, whom yet he admitted to close intimacy, as some old general might the youths of his staff, warming his old age at the genial flame of their growing energies and unworn hopes. His was a joyful old age, too, notwithstanding many burdens of anxiety and sorrow. We hear the clear song of his gladness ringing through the epistle of joy — that to the Philippians — which, like this, dates from his Roman captivity. A Christian old age should be joyful, and it only will be; for the joys of the natural life burn low when the fuel that fed them is nearly exhausted, and withered hands ave held in vain over the dying embers. But Christ's joy "remains," and a Christian old age maybe like the polar midsummer days, when the sun shines till midnight, and dips but for an imperceptible interval ere it rises for the unending day of heaven. Paul the aged was full of interest in the things of the day — no mere "praiser of time none by," but a strenuous worker, cherishing a quick sympathy and an eager interest, which kept him young to the end. And over his cheery, sympathetic, busy old age there is thrown the light of a great hope, which kindles desire and onward looks in his dim eyes, and parts "such a one as Paul the aged" by a whole universe from the old whose future is dark and their past dreary, whose hope is a phantom and their memory a pang.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Yet for love's sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.