The Asiatic Desertion of the Apostle
2 Timothy 1:15
This you know, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

He reminds Timothy of a fact well known to him already, that he had suffered from a melancholy desertion of friends.

I. THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF HIS LOSS. "All who are in Asia turned away from me."

1. As to its nature. It was not a repudiation of Christianity. It was a desertion of the apostle himself, either through fear of persecution, or through a repudiation of his catholic ideas on behalf of the Gentiles. The Christian Jews seem everywhere to have forsaken him. In one of his prison-letters he can only name two or three Jews who were a comfort to him in the gospel (Colossians 4:11).

2. As to its extent. The Asiatic desertion may have probably taken place in Rome itself, probably at a time when his life, and that of all Christians, was threatened by Nero; probably at the time referred to in the end of this Epistle, when he could say, "No man stood by me; all men forsook me." Those who would identify themselves with the apostle of the Gentiles at such a time would probably be Gentiles rather than Jews. Thus the number of the deserters might not be great. If the desertion took place in Asia Minor, it would only suggest a widespread falling away from the aged prisoner at Rome, but not from the gospel. The apostle singles out two persons quite unknown to us - "Phygelus and Hermogenes" - as the ringleaders of this movement. The fact that so few names are mentioned tends to reduce the extent of the sad misfortune.

II. THE EFFECT OF THIS DESERTION. The apostle does not dwell upon it, but rather dismisses the deserters in a single sentence. Yet:

1. It would be a severe trial to the faith of the aged apostle in his dying days. The desertion of friends is always a sore trial, but when the friendship is cemented by religion, its intensity is peculiarly enhanced.

2. The apostle refers to it with the view of stimulating Timothy to still greater courage in the cause of the gospel. - T.C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

WEB: This you know, that all who are in Asia turned away from me; of whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.

Necessity of Constancy
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