2 Timothy 2:6 MEANING

2 Timothy 2:6
(6) The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.--Again the picture is painted from every-day life. "The husbandman that laboureth"--with an emphasis upon "that laboureth"--is the successful tiller of the ground; "the labouring husbandman" it is, for whom the earth brings forth her increase. It is the enduring, patient, self-sacrificing toil that is rewarded in the affairs of common life--the man that "endures hardness," whether as a soldier, or athlete, or tiller of the ground, wins the reward; and as in the world, so in religion. Further on in the Epistle the Apostle speaks of his having won the crown of righteousness. He had endured hardness of every conceivable kind; every affliction for the Lord's sake he had endured save death, and that he was expecting, and knew it could not long tarry. The teaching of St. Paul in this triple picture is--not every soldier wins its commander's applause, but only the veteran who devotes himself heart and soul to his profession; not every athlete wins the crown or prize, but only he who trains with anxious, painful care; not every tiller of the ground gathers the earth's fruits, but only the patient toiler. So must it be in religious life. It is not enough to say we are Christians, or even to wish to be of the brotherhood of Christ. Men must really live the life they say they love.

Verse 6. - The first to partake for first partaker, A.V. That laboureth (τὸν κοπιῶντα). Let not Timothy think to shirk labour and yet enjoy its fruits. (For κοπιάω, see note on 1 Timothy 5:17.)

2:1-7 As our trials increase, we need to grow stronger in that which is good; our faith stronger, our resolution stronger, our love to God and Christ stronger. This is opposed to our being strong in our own strength. All Christians, but especially ministers, must be faithful to their Captain, and resolute in his cause. The great care of a Christian must be to please Christ. We are to strive to get the mastery of our lusts and corruptions, but we cannot expect the prize unless we observe the laws. We must take care that we do good in a right manner, that our good may not be spoken evil of. Some who are active, spend their zeal about outward forms and doubtful disputations. But those who strive lawfully shall be crowned at last. If we would partake the fruits, we must labour; if we would gain the prize, we must run the race. We must do the will of God, before we receive the promises, for which reason we have need of patience. Together with our prayers for others, that the Lord would give them understanding in all things, we must exhort and stir them up to consider what they hear or read.The husbandman that laboureth,.... In manuring his ground, in ploughing, in sowing, in weeding, in reaping, &c.

must be first partaker of the fruits; of his labour, before others; and the design may be to observe that the ministers of the word ought first to be partakers of the grace of God, the fruits of the Spirit, and of the Gospel, and rightly and spiritually understand it, before they preach it to others; or that such who labour in the word and doctrine, ought in the first place to be taken care of, and have a sufficient maintenance provided for them, 1 Corinthians 9:7 or that as they shall have in the first place some seals and fruits of their ministry, in the conversion of souls, so they shall shine in the kingdom of heaven as the brightness of the firmament, and as the stars for ever and ever. Though the words may be rendered, and which seems more agreeable to the context, and to the apostle's argument, "the husbandman must first labour before he partakes of the fruits"; so a minister of the Gospel must first labour, and endure hardships in this life, before he sits down in the kingdom of heaven, and takes his rest, and enjoys the crown of glory, which fades not away, which the chief Shepherd shall give unto him.

Courtesy of Open Bible