To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.2 Timothy 1:2(NASB)
Following on from his introductory greeting in this letter to Timothy, Paul immediately identifies himself as an apostle of Christ according to the will of God. He confirms that His ministry is according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, by faith... before addressing Timothy as, "my dearly beloved son."
Timothy was not Paul's physical offspring, but a spiritual son who had been nurtured in the Hebrew Scriptures by Eunice, his mother, and also his grandmother, Lois. Timothy had come to a deepening faith in Christ through the ministry of the apostle Paul and is identified in Scripture as one of the men who would wear the mantle of leadership in the Christian Church. Timothy was one who would continue to preach the whole council of God and the uncompromised gospel of grace, after Paul himself was gone.
This second letter to Timothy, was the last of Paul's epistles to be written... and as he penned the words, "grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, and Christ Jesus our Lord," I am sure that Paul's heart was filled with a mixture of joy and concern for this young man to whom the gospel of the grace of God was to be entrusted, after his death.
It seems Timothy was somewhat reserved and may have had some health problems too, but Paul also knew that after his own death, grievous wolves would enter in among the Christian Church which would not spare the little flock of God. And so he added the word "mercy" to his usual greeting of "grace and peace" writing, "To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord."
It has been suggested that God's grace is needed for every service and His mercy is necessary for every failure, while the peace of God is a requirement for every single circumstance of life.
However, the addition of the word "mercy" in Paul's customary greeting and its inclusion, twice more, in this final epistle to Timothy, gives the impression that God's mercy on his young protégé, was close to the apostle's heart. Mercy has been defined by one scholar as, "the self-moved, spontaneous loving-kindness of God, which causes Him to deal in compassion and tender affection, with the miserable, the hurting and the distressed."
The example of Paul's heart-felt concern and his prayer for grace, mercy, and peace over the life of Timothy, is an example to each one of us as we lift up our brothers and sisters in Christ to the Lord - in these increasingly evil days when the devil, as a roaring lion, continues to prowl about - seeking whom he may devour.
May God pour out His grace, mercy, and peace on all His children, until the day of Christ Jesus our Lord, and may we all follow the example of Paul in his ceaseless prayer-life, for all who have been saved by grace through faith in Christ.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the insight into this simple, but profound greeting and prayer, which Paul offered for Timothy. I pray that You would pour out in great measure, Your never-failing grace, Your matchless mercy, and Your inner peace which passes human understanding, on all who are called by Your name - but I also pray for Your saving grace, compassionate mercy, and free gift of peace with God - for those who are dead in their sin and who do not know Christ as their God and Saviour. This I ask in His precious name, AMEN.