• June 26, 2017

Why did Paul Leave Trophimus Sick?

Why did Paul Leave Trophimus Sick?

Why did Paul Leave Trophimus Sick? 268 188 .

2 Timothy 4:20

Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus.

This is a very common verse to used against, that it’s always Gods will to heal and that divine healing is included in the atonement. But is this interpretation of 2 Timothy 4:20 fair when you consider the NT in whole?

1. It’s not stated in the verse that Paul prayed for Trophimus. You have to assume that he did and you yourself add that into the verse.

2. The only information we have is that Paul left Trophimus sick. The Bible is full of events where an author mentions something very short, but you get more info about what happened through other authors in the Bible and thereby get an overall ensemble. For example;

  • Jesus temptation in the desert (Mark 1:12-13, Matt 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-13).
  • John the Baptist’s death (Luke 9:7-9, Matt 14:1-12, Mark 6:14-29).
  • Peter’s confession of Christ (Mark 8:27-30, Luke 9:18-20, Matt 16:13-20).
  • The religious leaders double standards (Mark 12:38-40 Luke 20:45-47, Matt 23:1-12).
  • Jesus appears to his disciples after his death (Mark 16:14, John 20:24-29).

What if Paul wasn’t even with Trophimus when he received the news that he was sick? He might have been in the same city when he found out, but where too far away from Trophimus, and therefore continued the journey without him – meaning Trophimus is left sick. We don`t really know what happened. But we know that Paul was in a hurry at this time because he wanted to be in Jerusalem to Pentecost, Acts 20:1-16.

3. There is over 100.000 of healings taking place from Matthew and forward (Matt 10:5-8, Mark 6:12–13, Luk 9:6, Luk 10:1-9, Apg 5:15-16, 6:8, 8:5-8, 14:3, 15:12, 19:11-12, 28:7-9, Rom 15:19). The crowds where healing took place was huge, in Matt 14:15-21, Mark 6:35-44, Luk 9:12-17, Joh 6:5-13, Matt 15:32-38, 16:8-10 and Mark 8:1-9 we can read about two different crowds, one consisted of 5000 people and the other 4000 people ( without women and children). These where the crowds that Jesus, the apostles and the disciples healed on a daily basis. Not once did Jesus, the apostles and the disciples fail to heal the sick except for (Matt 17:14-21, Mark 9:14–28, Luk 9:37–42 ), but that one time Jesus also rebuke his disciples for their lack of faith(Matt 17:17-21) and goes on to heal the sick boy himself. Why do you assume that Paul was unable to do what he have done thousands of times and never failed what we know of?
Considering what’s stated above we can conclude that Paul did not pray for Trophiums. However we can’t surely know what actually happened, so why use an uncertain verse to try to verify something that cannot be confirmed in the rest of the bible?

Even If Paul actually did pray for Trophimus and failed to heal him, which I do definitely not believe! Would that mean that healing is not in the atonement or that God don`t always want to heal everyone, it certainly does not. If in fact Paul fail to heal him, God’s promise still has higher authority than Paul’s failure ( Psalms 89:34-35, 138:2b). In this case you still have to explain a lot of verses (Isaiah 53:4, Matt 8:17, Matt.10:1-8, 17:14-20, Mark 16:15-20, Luke 10:1, 9, 17-19, Eph. 1:20-23).

Aly-Sam Botros

Healing Teachings


  • Sem June 6, 2018 at 2:49 am

    Maybe Paul didn’t like him.

  • Anonymous March 28, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    Not bad

  • Anonymous February 21, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    Praise the Lord. You’ve beautiful penned a complicated scripture. You’re right in saying that we can’t invent a doctrine based on one scripture. In fact we need to consider the entire NT.

  • wingandprayer August 29, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    Here’s another angle on this verse: Maybe Paul mentioned him being left sick as a hint that other believers could pray for Trophimus. After all, Paul was all about the body of Christ working together as a whole. To him, it was never meant to be a one-man show. The “great healing evangelist” does not have to be the person used to do the healing. Why not let it be the obscure person no one knows about? That way Jesus gets more glory, at least in my opinion.

  • YAH! Ministries July 21, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    The word sick in the greek here is “astheneō” which means feeble or weak, not necessarily sick as in a sickness or disease. Same word as in Phi 2:26. The answer is: “Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.” Phi 2:30

  • waitwithme June 26, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    I’ve heard on one of Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj’s teachings that he went to pray for someone who was sick and the Holy Spirit stopped him. In that case ( doubt it’s the same as here ), it was better for that person to die than to be healed, God new the future and what would happen. So He prevented Sadhu from praying for His healing.

    I doubt that’s the case here, but doesn’t mean there aren’t other special occasions when something else is going on. Perhaps there was an especially strong defense from the enemy and Paul had to leave before they broke through. Perhaps sick actually meant something else he was recovering from. Like you said, who knows.

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