"I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus..."
Text: Philippians 2:25
A HINT AT THE CIRCUMSTANCES
Paul had said that he would see how things were with him before he sent Timothy to Philippi. The following text gives us a clue as to what he was considering.
“Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus,
my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger
and the one who ministered to my need.”
1. There was another person Paul was considering sending to Philippi.
2. This person was Epaphroditus.
3. Three considerations:-
a) Sending Timothy to Philippi.
b) Going to Philippi when he was released from prison.
c) Sending Epaphroditus back to Philippi.
WHO WAS EPAPHRODITUS?
We are first introduced to Epaphroditus in this text.
1. He was the “messenger” sent by the Philippians.
a) The word “messengers” was the word “apostle” (Greek “apostolos”).
b) This does not mean that Epaphroditus was an apostle .
c) The word “apostle” has a strong sense of being “sent with a special commission”.
d) Epaphroditus was indeed sent by the Philippian church with a specific task to perform.
e) He was sent to “minister” to Paul. (Greek “leitourgon” – He may be described as someone sent as an orderly to look after Paul’s needs, whatever they may be.)
2. A glowing commendation of Epaphroditus
Paul was deeply impressed with the messenger that the Philippian church had sent to look after him.
a) He was like “a brother” to Paul.
b) He was a fellow-worker.
c) He was a fellow-soldier.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS WORD OF COMMENDATION
Paul was deeply impacted by the ministry of Epaphroditus. He was most likely older than Timothy and thus he was called “a brother” rather than “a son”. In any case, Epaphroditus was highly commended because he wanted the Philippians to know that the messenger they had sent was truly outstanding.
He was sent back not because he was a failure. He was returning home to Philippi covered in honour and glory because of his tremendous ministry to the apostle Paul. Finding such people who deserves such high commendation was rare in the days of Paul. It may be true to say that finding men of such worth is also a rare thing today!