Summary: Apostle Paul called Epaphroditus ‘my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier!’
Philippians 2:25”Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need..”
Apostle Paul called Epaphroditus ‘my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier!’ I’m sure many of you are cracking your head as to who is this guy Epaphroditus! We don’t hear much of him, though, but the little that we read of him certainly stirs our heart and makes us wonder where we stand compared to the life of such saints! Look what Paul tells of him: hold such men in esteem! Enamored by these words, I set digging the Bible more for this man of God; Paul calls him ‘my brother!’ I remember receiving an email from a dear friend who said, ‘bala, I don’t believe in calling sister and brother, hope you don’t mind me avoiding that’, I didn’t mind at all anyway. However, since he found those words not sincere but just a formality, he got disgusted; we all have had our own dose of such experiences as well.
Now, we may have many friends but how many of us can point out to someone and say ‘my brother or my sister’, whom you can just call even at midnight and pour out your feelings without being condemned? Do we have such sincere brothers/sisters around? Many young people volunteer to come and help me in my ministry in various areas, but I have found that suddenly at a very crucial stage they would just leave me without any information; mark it, all of them are water-baptized, Bible-reading Christians! I would never, ever hear from them again. Commitment to God’s work and consistency is a very rare product in our Christian circle. Brother! How many of us have brothers and sisters whom we know would understand us 100 percent and never allow the enemy to bring any rifts in the relationships? Such relationships don’t exist on earth now a days! It’s all about, ‘you didn’t do this or you did that’, right? Friend, keep in mind that Paul is in the prison when he pens these words and says, ‘Epaphroditus my brother’ because it was a selfless service rendered to Paul. Not many of us would want to volunteer to help when it is not convenient for us, you may ferry a friend to church when his house is on your way to church, but would you take a long route just to pick him up? Think! We would rather drive an empty car to church, whistling away to glory, rather than help someone in need. Please, please I want this message to stir your hearts to do selfless service like Epaphroditus.
Paul further goes on to call him my fellow worker and fellow soldier! Friend, more than finances, we need good workers in the Christian mission field. I speak from experience. We need like-minded people to serve in the midst of sufferings, inconveniences and persecutions. Paul was sent to preach. Epaphroditus was sent to serve. Friend, each one of us are called be an ‘Epaphroditus’ at our work spot, home, neighborhood, college or at our hostel. Think! May be you have an elderly person to take care of at home, or may be cook, may be help your pastor in small work; whatever, do it wholeheartedly without grumbling.
Finally, Paul says, ‘Epaphroditus put his own life at risk to be of service to him!’ Wow! Epaphroditus has managed to carve himself an identity that weathers time and trends!