Meanwhile, I thought I should send Epaphroditus back to you. He is a true brother, co-worker, and fellow soldier. And he was your messenger to help me in my need. I am sending him because he has been longing to see you, and he was very distressed that you heard he was ill. And he certainly was ill; in fact, he almost died. But God had mercy on him—and also on me, so that I would not have one sorrow after another. So I am all the more anxious to send him back to you, for I know you will be glad to see him, and then I will not be so worried about you. Welcome him in the Lord’s love and with great joy, and give him the honor that people like him deserve. For he risked his life for the work of Christ, and he was at the point of death while doing for me what you couldn’t do from far away.”
Philippians 2:25-30 NLT
Epaphroditus was, apparently, a well respected Philippian believer who who was sent by the church to Rome with supplies to bring relief to Paul while he was there in prison. He may have also served the Lord by doing things to to promote the gospel there in Rome as an assistant to Paul. Paul calls him a true brother, co-worker, and fellow soldier. While there, he fell ill and almost died. The journey may have contributed to his condition as well. His commitment to Jesus Christ was more important to him than his own well being. Epaphroditus was, indeed, a true disciple of Jesus Christ. He loved Jesus so much that he was willing to do whatever it took to serve God, even die in service to Him. Word had reached the Philippian church that Epaphroditus was very sick and they were very concerned. However, God restored his health and Paul sent the letter to the church by the hands of Epaphroditus. Once again, we see the deep love of God demonstrated by these brethren to one another and their absolute devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. How devoted are you? Would you risk your life, even die, in service to the Master? This is the devotion we should have for our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the reason to live and die. After all, we are promised everlasting life. What should make us fear?
Rev. Curtis Norris