SanLo Community, an update for the week of April 29, 2018…
Thank you Pastor Rod for the message from Philippians 2:19-30, “A Friend In Deed, a Friend Indeed.” The Apostle Paul talks about standing firm and unity and our humility. He also talks about Christ’s example of humbling Himself and about being a light in darkness. He talks about the relationship of two people with each other and their relationship with the people of Philippi and about having a deep, abiding, sacrificial friendship. What made for Christ-like friendship?
CONSIDERED THE OTHERS BEST 19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition. His hope, used here is firm and certain because it is in the Lord Jesus. It is based on trust in God, it is subject to God’s will. Paul considered the others best in sending Timothy. He has a two-fold purpose: 1. He wanted to hear good news of them, to be encouraged by news that they were strong in Jesus Christ. 2. He wanted to give them a report on his status of being imprisoned and what the verdict was. They would want to know. As Paul considered their best interest, he said he would send Timothy shortly, (meaning soon). There was an urgency expressed, without delay even though he was delayed by imprisonment.
Why send Timothy? CONSIDERED THE OTHERS BEST 20 For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare. He commends Timothy, a kindred spirit, literally an equal and like-minded. Timothy would carry Paul’s own deep concerns about church health, the gospel, maturity in faith, and correct teaching. In reality, Paul likely preferred Timothy to stay with him. He was in prison, he needed Timothy’s help, but he gave up own needs by sending him.
Paul… CONSIDERED THE OTHERS BEST 21 For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus. Who is Paul describing as selfish, self-focused, self-absorbed, self-centered? Is he contrasting with other Christian workers or Christians in general - especially Rome? Timothy was not that way. 22 But you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father. Paul goes on to defend Timothy’s proven worth or character – not what he did but who he was. Timothy’s character was tested but not always seen by others. He demonstrated loyalty and companionship to Paul. A friend that serves and cares are true friends. Paul showed selflessness in sending a selfless servant.
Paul showed that he… CONSIDERED THE OTHERS BEST 23 Therefore I hope to send him immediately, as soon as I see how things go with me; 24 and I trust in the Lord that I myself also will be coming shortly. Paul wanted Timothy to update the Philippian Church as to his situation with his trial and what was going to happen to him. Acts does not record Paul’s release but if you read through the Pastoral Epistles, it supports that Paul likely traveled to Crete, Asia Minor, Macedonia, and Achaia.
CONSIDERED THE OTHERS BEST 25 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; Epaphroditus is named only in Philippians. Paul is actually sending him back to them and he is going without waiting for Paul’s update. He called him my brother (united in faith); he called him his fellow worker (united in ministry); Paul called him fellow soldier (united in battle) rare military imagery for Paul to use. Your messenger and minister to my need – Epaphroditus missed the people
but brought a gift from the Philippian church to Paul (later also). 26 because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. longing for – used of the Holy Spirit yearning for our hearts and of a baby desiring for milk. distressed – used only of great anguish of Jesus in Garden of Gethsemane.
Epaphroditus was worried that the people were worried about Paul’s situation because he… CONSIDERED THE OTHERS BEST 27a For indeed he was sick to the point of death, but God had mercy on him,. The severe nature of illness - sick to the point of death, in the ancient world illness often lead to death. God had mercy upon him. Our lives are subject to the will of God. 27b God’s mercy… and not on him only but also on me, so that I would not have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore 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’s presence would have brought rejoicing from the Philippian people, but Epaphroditus’ presence also brought on spontaneous delight.
They both… CONSIDERED THE OTHERS BEST 29 Receive him then in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high regard; Paul encourages them to receive Epaphroditus with honor and joy in the Lord, why? 30 because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me. Paul says to honor one who pours their life on behalf of others. Epaphroditus brought the financial gift to Paul from Philippi even though he was sick. He completed the delivery of their gift to Paul.
Epaphroditus… CONSIDERED THE OTHERS BEST as he risked his own life, considering all of the dangers of travel in delivering the gift from the Philippians to Paul; then becoming ill caring for Paul in prison.
Do we take risks for other people’s good? We demonstrate true friendship when we consider others best interests first.