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Philippians 2:30– Risking his soul

28-02-2023 - Posted by Hans

Seeing that because of the work of the Lord he draws near unto death, risking his soul that he should fill up your want of ministration toward me.

Earlier we read that Epaphroditus (2:27) was close to death due to illness. This verse zooms in on that a bit more. Epaphroditus had been sent by the Philippians with a contribution to support Paul (2:25; 4:18). Evidently, the hardships of the long journey have brought him to Paul very ill. Had an accident happened to him? Or had he contracted an infection along the way? We do not know, but Epaphroditus had risked his soul anyway for the work of the Lord, and he had come close to death because of it.

Some interpreters take the comment about the Philippians’ deficiency as reproaching Paul. But that can’t possibly be the thought. After all, in 4:18 Paul writes that their gift through Epaphroditus was a sweet-smelling offering, acceptable to God. The want of ministration of the Philippians does not indicate their unwillingness to serve Paul. On the contrary! The shortage refers to their inability to visit Paul. In deputing Epaphroditus, therefore, he made up for what they themselves could not accomplish.