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Philippians 2:28,29 – Esteemed people

28-02-2023 - Posted by Hans

The more diligently, then, I send him, that seeing him again, you may be rejoicing and I may be more sorrow-free. Receive him, then, in the Lord with all joy and have such [men] in honor.

The emphasis on joy in this letter takes on a very concrete motive here. Epaphroditus had become ill during his stay with Paul and was even close to death. The Philippians were very worried about him, but now that he has recovered, Paul wants to send him back to them right away “so that seeing him again you may be rejoicing”. The rejoicing of the Philippians was Paul’s intention, and their anxiety about Epaphroditus therefore burdened not only Epaphroditus (2:26) but also Paul himself. By sending him back now with the letter, he put an end to all worries. Epaphroditus’s mission had been unprecedentedly arduous, but what joy Paul brought to the Philippians when they could once again embrace their restored brother alive and well!

With great praise, Paul speaks of what Epaphroditus has meant to him. The Philippians had sent him to support Paul and he had even risked his life to do so. What a privilege it is to have such self-effacing ‘champs’ among us!