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Philippians 4:17 Sharing = multiplying

26-04-2023 - Posted by Hans

Not that I am seeking for a gift, but I am seeking for fruit that is increasing for your account.

From the very beginning, the Philippians have actively participated in Paul’s ministry of heralding the Gospel to the world. No sooner had he lifted his feet in Philippi than they had already pursued him twice in Thessalonica with a gift (:16). Just as they did later, after he had left Macedonia (:15). And now, years later, they had sent another gift through Epaphroditus. That is the immediate cause of this Philippi letter.

The gift was undoubtedly a great support to Paul. And yet that is not the primary reason for his gratitude. Paul sees the gift from the Philippians as an investment in their account. Out of love for Paul and for the Good News, they have ‘enriched’ him. But precisely because this was their motive, they become so much richer themselves! The general biblical idea is that sharing is actually multiplying. “Joy shared is joy doubled”!

With the fruit in the account of the Philippians, Paul means to say that it enriches them more than himself. Not only now, but also later in the parousia, when they will shine like Paul’s wreath of honor (Phil.3:14; 4:1; 1Thes.2:19).