2 Timothy 1:15-18
2 Tim 1:15 (KJB)
This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.
While Paul was still in Macedonia, there was obviously some type of situation going on where he lost his friends and associates. Probably the two men mentioned here where the leaders in causing many to split from Paul. This verse is not stating that every person in Asia turned from him because he still had many friends but there was probably an exodus from him because of an onslaught of false religions and maybe these two men were jealous of the following Paul had. When we look at the definition of the names of these two men, we will gain a better understanding of their opposition to Paul:
Phygellus - Fugitive
Hermogenes - Begotten of Mercury
The meanings of these names reveal to us that they were no friend of Christianity.
2 Tim 1:16 (KJB)
The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:
Now let us look at the meaning of the name Onesiphorus - It means “Profitable or help-bringer.” Here was a true benevolent helper and was a dweller in Ephesus. He was one who helped and refreshed Paul in the midst of some trying times in Ephesus. He not only would have refreshed Paul physically but also spiritually giving him approbation in his ministry a number of times, “oft.”. He also identified with Paul in his imprisonment and did not forsake him because in those days, if you were friendly with a prisoner, it would mean guilt by association and you could possibly share in their fate. So we see a tremendous difference between the two men in the previous verse and Onesiphorus. This is also a great lesson to new parents that you need to be very careful how you name your child.
Tim 1:17 (KJB)
But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.
Here Paul continues to laud the true friendship of Onesiphorus that when Paul was in Rome, in prison, Onesiphorus had sought for him. For a prisoner, a visit from a trusted friend or brother in the Lord will brighten their day. When they got together, I am sure they had a very good time in discussing the things of the Lord and probably Onesiphorus had brought him some good food from the outside. In ancient prisons, it was normally the family who took the responsibility of feeding and clothing the prisoner. Onesiphorus was like family to Paul when he had sought him out and did not take any shame in his imprisonment.
2 Tim 1:18 (KJB)
The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.
This verse seems like Paul is saying that Onesiphorus is unsaved and that hopefully he may find mercy in the day, speaking of judgment day. This is a brief prayer for Onesiphorus by Paul who is commending him to the Lord for Paul knows that he cannot do anything for him but only the Lord gives mercy. All true believers are saved by the mercy of God and it is only through God’s mercy, that no believer will ever appear before the White Throne Judgment Seat of Christ. In fact, Paul may even be praying for Onesiphorus if he is ever martyred for the faith and that God may give Him dying mercies to make it come more peaceably. Since he ministered to the Apostle Paul and showed himself to be a true brother, it is obvious he was saved and Paul was commending him to the Lord because Paul knew his time was short. It is like us when we pray for someone and we cannot be with them, we pray they have the mercy of God on their life, including the daily mercies which all us believers need. Timothy apparently knew Onesiphorus and his personality of desiring to do ministry.