The Value Of Godly Relationships
Today we finish the second chapter of Philippians. We’re halfway home. Paul ends this chapter by showing the Philippian church the value of Godly relationships as he send Timothy and Epaphroditus to them.
First Paul writes But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly. Paul’s hope is not the kind where you hope a team wins a game or that you have a good time on a trip. His hope is a reality. He is going to send Timothy to Philipi. This is line with what the Lord wants. Paul is not looking into the distant future. Instead, he want to do this soon.
Why does Paul want to send Timothy to the Philippians? So that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition. This is unusual compared to the other churches Paul writes to. He is normally dealing with a problem, such as the events that lead him to write to Corinth and the Galatian churches. Instead, here Paul expects a good report when he sends Timothy to them. Paul needs this as he is under house arrest in Rome, chained to a guard at all tiems.
Paul isn’t just sending anyone to them. Paul is sending his best. For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. Timothy is Paul’s closest confidant and partner in the ministry. He is Paul’s son in the faith. He has poured all of his time into Timothy to mentor him. Paul isn’t just sending anybody to them.
Paul continues to describe Timothy. Speaking of having no one else to send, Paul writes For they all seek after their own interests, no those of Christ Jesus. Paul’s implication is that Timothy is not like this. Everyone else in Rome may be self-centered, but not Timothy. He seeks after the interests of Christ, not his own.
The Philippians, evidently, know Timothy. But you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father. They know how valuable he is to Paul. He has been in the trenches with Paul taking the gospel to those who have not heard it. He looks to Paul as his father.
Paul wants to send him to them soon. Therefore I hope to send him immediately, as soon as I see how things go with me. Paul wants to find out what is in store with himself. Timothy must be assisting Paul, but is available to go as soon as Paul’s future is cleared up.
Paul is using Timothy’s visit to prep for his own visit. And I trust in the Lord that I myself also will be coming shortly. Paul’s expectation is that he will be released from his imprisonment shortly and that Timothy will have things prepared for them to just right into further ministry together.
Next, Paul describes someone he is sending with Timothy. 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. Paul didn’t want to just send Timothy alone, so he sends someone else he trusts with him. Paul describes him as his brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier. This is high praise from Paul. He also seems to have been an actual Philippian who was sent to help Paul. Paul is returning the favor by sending him back home to minister to his friends and loved ones.
Naturally, just as Paul has strong feelings for Israel, Epaphroditus feels strongly for the church of Phllipi. Because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. 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. Ephaproditus was longing for home, for their condition and also because he had heard they were worried about him. He had been sick and word had made its way back home. He had been deathly ill, but the Lord spared him. Paul would have been distraught at losing a friend and fellow worker for the gospel.
It appears that sending Ephroditus will be be a win-win. Therefor 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. Paul wants them to see evidence of Ephaproditus’ rebound. He also expects a report back from him when he returns to Paul
Paul ends the chapter with how they should receive Ephroditus. Receive him then in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high regard; because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me. Ephroditus’ condition was caused by his actual work for the gospel. He wants them to receive him well because he had done this to complete the work the Philippians had begun in service to Paul.
One of the interesting things we find as we read the Bible is that Paul surrounded himself with people. He poured himself into them and worked equally with them, regardless of their standing. We would do well to follow Paul’s model of finding value in Godly relationships in our lives.