Philippians 2:25-30, NASB
25) But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need;
26) because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick.
27) For indeed he was sick to the point of death, but God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, so that I would not have sorrow upon sorrow.
28) Therefore I have sent him all the more eagerly so that when you see him again you may rejoice and I may be less concerned about you.
29) Receive him then in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high regard;
30) because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me.
-Epaphroditus has been ministering with and to Paul on behalf of the Philipians who sent him to Paul after he was imprisoned in Rome. In Philippians 4:18 we further learn that they sent Epaphroditus to Paul with gifts of some sort. 'But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God."
-While with Paul in Rome Epaphroditus became so ill that he was near death.
-God healed Epaphroditus, which Paul says was also showing mercy to him.
I often think of Paul as having this amazing strength. It struck me that here he says that God showed mercy to Paul by healing Epaphroditus so that he would not have "sorrow upon sorrow." I wonder what his sorrow was? I have a hard time believing that it is because he is a prisoner. He referred to himself as a prisoner of Christ which leads me to believe that he did not view the men who had him arrested as having any control over his ciccumstances that was not granted them by God; and while imprisoned he did not cease to preach the Gospel and wrote several letters encouraging various churches among other things. Remember it was during his imprisonment in Philippi that the jailer and his family heard about Jesus work on the cross. I suspect they were members of the church the letter of Philippians was addressed to.
I wonder if his sorrow is related to those he mentioned yesterday who were motivated by their own selfish desires. Perhaps Timothy and Epaphroditus were the only ones with him at the time who shared his fervor for furthering the Gospel. I don't know, it is all conjecture at this point. From our text I assume that Epaphroditus was really laboring with Paul, he was engaged in the battle as "fellow soldier." It would be a sorrow to lose a man like that.
This is another one of those passages where I have not come up with an application for myself. Perhaps just to labor well and be an encouragement to other believer's as I hold fast to the word of truth.
Grace and Peace,
Philippians 2:19-24, NASB
19) But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition.
20) For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare.
21) For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus.
22)But you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father.
23) Therefore I hope to send him immediately, as soon as I see how things go with me;
24 and I trust in the Lord that I myself also will be coming shortly.
-Paul would like to send Timothy to the church in Philippi.
-Timothy shares Paul's love and concern for them.
-The others with Paul are concerned about their won interests not the Philippians.
-Timothy has proven his worth in furhtering the gospel.
-Paul believes that he too will be coming back to the Philippians shortly.
Historical Swedish cabin in Austin, Tx......... photo by Deb 3/2013
This is one of those sections of Scripture that I am not sure how to "apply." I suppose the one verse that catches my attention along those lines is "For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus." Motives. Looking into my heart at what drives me. I fear there are a lot self-centered things going on in there. Whose interests am I serving? That is a question I need to ask myself.
Grace and Peace,
I am a woman with a Mary heart and these are my musings as I read and study God's Word
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