Verse 17. "That the man of God" - The preacher of righteousness, the minister of the Gospel, the person who derives his commission from God, and always appears as his herald and servant.
"May be perfect" - artiov? From arw, to fit or adapt. It properly signifies an integer or whole number in arithmetic, to which nothing needs to be added to make it complete.
"Throughly furnished" - exhrtismenov? From ex, intensive, and artiov, complete; see above. Not only complete in himself as to his integrity, religious knowledge, faith in Jesus, and love to God and man, but that he should have all those qualifications which are necessary to complete the character, and insure the success of a preacher, of the Gospel. Timothy was to teach, reprove, correct, and instruct others; and was to be to them a pattern of good works.
From what the apostle says here concerning the qualifications of a Christian minister, we may well exclaim: Who is capable of these things? Is it such a person as has not intellect sufficient for a common trade or calling? No. A preacher of the Gospel should be a man of the soundest sense, the most cultivated mind, the most extensive experience, one who is deeply taught of God, and who has deeply studied man; one who has prayed much, read much, and studied much; one who takes up his work as from God, does it as before God, and refers all to the glory of God; one who abides under the inspiration of the Almighty, and who has hidden the word of God in his heart, that he might not sin against him. No minister formed by man can ever be such as is required here. The school of Christ, and that alone, can ever form such a preacher.