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The first post in this devotional series covering the book of Philippians is Those Boring Openings.
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. (Philippians 2:27)
We don’t know what Epaphroditus was sick with, but Paul tells us that he almost died because of it.
Remember that life wasn’t easy then. Travel from Philippi to Rome took weeks or months and involved some potentially harrowing circumstances. Even nowadays, taking a boat trip can introduce illnesses (as I write this, the Coronavirus has hit at least one cruise ship). But back then, getting sick had a much higher possibility of ending with one’s demise.
Such was the case with Epaphroditus. But, he apparently was still committed to the ministry. Still, Paul wants to send him back to be with friends and family. So, he sent him back, probably carrying the letter to the Philippians that’s currently in our Bibles (except in Greek).
So, Epaphroditus has earned his place in history: his name is now part of God’s Word, and that Word will live forever. Heaven and the Earth over which Epaphroditus traveled will pass away, but God’s Word will not. THANK YOU, Epaphroditus!
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