When I read this portion of Scripture I heard the following question in my spirit: which cloak did you leave behind? School blazers are easily recognizable. You know which school someone goes to because of the blazer. Which school do you go to? What does your blazer look like? People recognize it.
In the Old Testament the Hebrew word for cloak, ‘adar’ stood for excellence & authority.
Micah 2:8 – a wide cloak, draping from the shoulders.
Deuteronomy 33:29 – the Lord wants to be Israel’s cloak
I Peter 2:16 – Peter warns us not to use liberty as a cloak for vice
Let’s establish some clues as to the kind of cloak Paul left behind.
1. Paul left the cloak behind with Carpus
Carpus means ‘fruit’. What kind of fruit or influence do you leave behind after visiting people or visiting a city or a nation? How will people remember you?
What’s in the coats pockets? What was the coat used for? Preaching? Partying?
2. Paul left the cloak at Troas
Troas is a seaport. II Corinthians 2:12, 13 tells us Paul went to Troas to preach. He wanted to go to Asia from there, but the Holy Spirit prevented him 3 times. That’s where he received the heavenly vision of the man from Macedonia calling him to come over and help them. (Acts 16:8-10) That’s where an open door beckoned him.
3. Paul was not ashamed of the cloak.
He asked Timothy to bring it to him in prison. He also longed to see Timothy as well because Demas who loved the present evil world deserted Paul. Demas loved the praise of people more than the praise of God.
Maybe Paul wanted to pass his cloak on to Timothy who served him like a son in the Gospel. He also asked Timothy to bring the parchments that he also left behind – all his writings.
Paul was at his last. (II Timothy 4:6-8)
4. Like Elijah before he was taken away he had something to impart.
(I Kings 19:19) Elijah cast his mantle on Elisha. Elijah wore his mantle again. (II Kings 2:8) Elisha finally receives Elijah’s mantle: he received his excellence & authority and ministered in the same spirit. But Elisha had to tear up his own mantle first.
5. Jesus also cast his mantle on us
He sent His Holy Spirit to us after He left the earth. We are clothed with Christ. We are wearing His mantle! When they saw the boldness of Peter & John they took notice of them that they had been with Jesus! (Acts 4:13)