World English Bible translation
2:19But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered up when I know how you are doing. 2:20 For I have no one else like-minded, who will truly care about you. 2:21 For they all seek their own, not the things of Jesus Christ. 2:22 But you know the proof of him, that, as a child serves a father, so he served with me in furtherance of the gospel. 2:23 Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it will go with me. 2:24 But I trust in the Lord that I myself also will come shortly. 2:25 But I counted it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, fellow soldier, and your apostle and minister to my need; 2:26 since he longed for you all, and was very troubled, because you had heard that he was sick. 2:27 For indeed he was sick, nearly to death, but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, that I might not have sorrow on sorrow. 2:28 I have sent him therefore the more diligently, that, when you see him again, you may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. 2:29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all joy, and hold such in honor, 2:30 because for the work of Christ he came near to death, risking his life to supply that which was lacking in your service toward me.
Paul had held up Jesus Christ as an example to the Philippians of the humility and obedience that God seeks and will reward. He had also sought to encourage the Philippians to live the kind of lives that would be an example to other people too. He told them to live lives that were worthy of the gospel of Christ. They should seek to live in this way whether Paul was able to return to them or whether he would have to stay in prison.
In Today’s Scripture, Paul gives the Philippians two other men that they should use as an example in their lives. Paul tells them that they should take note of Timothy and Epaphroditus as examples of men who were living lives that were worthy of the gospel. Timothy was Paul's son in the gospel. Paul had been training Timothy. He had given Timothy responsibility among the churches. Timothy went where Paul could not go and delivered the messages that the Spirit of God wanted him to deliver. Timothy was the faithful work-fellow to the tireless ambassador of Christ.
Epaphroditus is also mentioned here in positive terms. Epaphroditus had been the messenger that had brought the gift from the Philippians to Paul. He had stayed with Paul and shared his confinement. Epaphroditus had even become so ill while with Paul that he had almost died. We are not told the ailment that Epaphroditus suffered from, only that it was extremely serious. Paul tells the Philippians to receive Epaphroditus and to honor him for his service.
This is a trait of all of the letters of Paul. Paul was lavish with praise for those who shared in the service of Christ with him. Paul was always seeking to develop young people to share in the work of the church. For Paul, the work of a Christian leader was to develop other people until they all grew up into the image of Christ. A leader was not someone who took credit for things that were accomplished. A leader was someone who allowed others to mature and grow. A leader was someone who allowed others to achieve great things.
Who are you helping to grow and mature in Christ? Are you providing opportunities for others to grow in Christ?
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