"He was sick almost unto death..."
Text: Philippians 2:27
TWO VERY SPECIAL PEOPLE
Two people ministered to the apostle Paul when he was in prison.
1. Timothy was there.
a) As a true and beloved son.
b) As one who loved his spiritual father, Paul.
2. Epaphroditus was there too.
a) He was sent by the Philippian Church.
b) He covered himself in glory in his humble ministry to Paul.
HARSH PRISON CONDITIONS
It is likely that the prison conditions in those days were very harsh. Hence Paul needed special support from Timothy and Epaphroditus.
“Since he was longing for you all,
and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick.
For indeed he was sick almost unto death;
but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also,
lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.”
1. Epaphroditus seriously ill
a) He could have succumbed to his illness which was life-threatening.
b) He was distressed that the Philippians might be worrying about him.
c) He was not as concerned about himself.
2. God’s mercy
Two aspects of mercy are highlighted here:-
a) God’s mercy to Epaphroditus so that he did not die.
b) God’s mercy on Paul lest he should have sorrow upon sorrow.
A SPECIAL SENSE OF APPRECIATION
Paul added a special word of appreciation of God’s mercy shown to him.
1. “Lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow”
a) Paul sorrowed over the fact that Epaphroditus fell ill looking after him
b) He would have sorrowed even more deeply had he succumbed to his illness
2. God’s mercy
Paul felt that this was a special dispensation of mercy given to him. God had understood how Paul felt and thus spared him from experiencing too much sorrow!