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The first post in this devotional series covering the book of Philippians is Devoted to Philippians.
But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus. (Philippians 2:25)
After explaining how valuable Timothy is to Paul’s ministry, Paul says he’s sending (back) Epaphroditus. Paul has excellent words of praise coming up for Epaphroditus. But for me, the most interesting thing is that He’s sending not Timothy (who he just finished effusing praise upon), but Epaphroditus. Why didn’t he send Timothy?
There are a couple of reasons. One is that Paul is still on trial, waiting to know whether he will be condemned or released. So, he apparently still needs Timothy with him.
In those days, criminals awaiting trial had to provide their own means. Which is kind of hard when you’re shackled to either guards or a prison cell. So, other people generally had to help out the prisoners. (Adds a little meaning to Jesus’s noting that we should visit those in prison, doesn’t it? But, that’s a side note.
So, Timothy, the faithful one, has to stay with Paul.
But, the other reason for sending Epaphroditus is that he almost died from an illness while in Paul’s service. Since he originally came from Philippi, Paul is sending him back (with this letter), so they know he’s doing well.
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