19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know that Timothy proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. 23 I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. 24 And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon.
25 But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. 26 For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. 29 Welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor men like him, 30 because he almost died for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up for the help you could not give me.
(Indicate verses used for answer)
What character traits of Timothy make him an appealing Christian?
In what ways was Timothy like a “son with his father” to Paul?
Paul calls Epaphroditus brother, worker and soldier. Take each one separately and explain Paul’s reasons.
Paul also called Epaphroditus “messenger” from the Philippian believers. What did that “title” include?
How did Paul want the Philippians to receive Epaphroditus?
In what ways does God interface with Paul and his ministry?
Describe the relationships you see in this passage.
What practical application is there for you in this passage?
Own interests; those of Jesus:
Welcome with great joy; Honor such people:
My brother, your messenger:
Timothy was a young man who was a disciple of Paul. Paul writes to him saying, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” (I Timothy 4:12). He grew up in a believing family with both Mother and Grandmother being God worshipers. (I Timothy 1:5).
Epaphroditus was a member of the church of Philippi, and perhaps one of its leaders. He was sent to Rome to assist Paul in whatever way possible. In all likelihood, he took money with him from the members to take care of any financial needs Paul had.