Philippians: Timothy and Epaphroditus

October 11, 2017

Paul was a man who encouraged believers to follow his own example of trust in God, in a life wholly consecrated to Jesus Christ. Perhaps because of his physical absence and imminent martyrdom, Paul wanted to give examples of other godly men whose manner of life and dedication to the gospel of Christ was worth emulating.

Timothy was one such man. Paul says about him,

I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel.

This young minister was the one person who did not abandon Paul as his grueling life drew to a close. Timothy had a deep and loving concern for the flock of God that reflected Paul’s own deep concern for them. And so Timothy, who was Paul’s “son-in-the-faith,” was dispatched to give encouragement and instruction to the Philippian Christians.

To Paul, there was no one as selfless as Timothy. He was a rare person who sought the interests of Jesus and others above his own. Like Paul, he possessed a deep and driving desire to see the gospel advance and believers grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was a man of proven worth.

Do you seek your own interests or the interests of Jesus Christ above all else?

In this section of Philippians 2, we also read about Paul’s friend and brother in Christ, Epaphroditus – who is only mentioned two times in the New Testament. He was a brother, fellow worker, soldier, and minister. His eagerness to share the gospel was first and foremost in his life, regardless of the cost or difficulty it may have presented.

Paul writes that this dear friend was “sick to the point of death” and “nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life.” Paul wants to showcase his devotion to Christ that also emulated the same kind of selflessness and Gospel committment as Timothy and Paul. We see he was a courageous man willing to take enormous risks, even putting himself in harms way, to come to the aid of Paul when he was in need.

These two examples of Godly servants raise some important questions: Have you told the Lord, “I’m willing to do whatever you might call me to do, and I’m willing to go anywhere You want me to go?” Are you deeply concerned about the spiritual well-being of other believers? Will you count the cost and serve the body of Christ whenever and wherever God calls?

God’s grace is sufficient to supply us with all we need to faithfully serve Him and others.