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The first post in this devotional series covering the book of Philippians is Devoted to Philippians.
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. Receive him then in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high regard; because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me. (Philippians 2:28-30)
Reading between the lines, it seems that the Philippians sent Epaphroditus to Paul for the duration of Paul’s stay in prison. Prisoners in those days had to be cared for by friends or relatives; the Roman Empire didn’t feed or clothe its prisoners.
So, sending Epaphroditus to Paul was a sacrifice to the Philippians. Even more so considering how faithful a Christian he was: he would have been of value had he stayed in Philippi as well.
But, they sent him. They sent him with a gift, and as a gift, to Paul. But, he got sick and almost died, and the Philippian church heard about it. So, Paul is sending him back. Paul still had Timothy, so it would be all right with him. He could live without Epaphroditus.
So, Paul sacrifices right back to the Philippians. Sounds a lot like “Minnesota Nice”, where people can’t resist out-giving others.
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