Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.
Note 1 at Php 2:25: Paul had just stated that he planned on sending Timothy to the Philippians just as soon as he learned what his verdict was (Php 2:23). He was believing that he himself was going to be released and that he would come to them in person (Php 2:24). Despite all this, Paul thought it was necessary to send Epaphroditus to them immediately with the latest news.
Note 2 at Php 2:25: Epaphroditus' name means lovely. He is traditionally thought to have carried this letter to the Philippians (see the subscript at the end of Philippians [found in some Bibles]). He is only mentioned by name twice in the New Testament: here and in Php 4:18.
Epaphroditus was the Philippians' messenger (this verse) and bearer of things (probably finances) sent to the Apostle Paul from the Philippians (Php 4:18). He was also a brother, companion in labor, and fellow soldier with Paul in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. He personally ministered to Paul's needs.
Epaphroditus became sick, nigh unto death (Php 2:27), because of the service he was rendering to Paul (Php 2:30). News of his illness had gotten back to his friends in Philippi, and Epaphroditus longed for his Philippian friends to hear the good news that he had been healed. This provided Paul with an added incentive for sending Epaphroditus back to Philippi. He could not only share news with them about Paul's situation, but he could comfort the Philippians' hearts when they saw he was well.
Paul showed the affection he had for Epaphroditus when he said that if Epaphroditus had died, Paul would have had "sorrow upon sorrow" (Php 2:27). Epaphroditus must have been a very lovely Christian, as his name implies.
Note 3 at Php 2:25: What labor did Paul do? It is true that at times, Paul had supported himself and his companions through making tents (Ac 18:3 with Ac 20:34). But Paul was in prison and had been for years. He was not doing physical labor.
Paul was speaking of the work of the ministry as labor. In 1Ti 5:17, Paul spoke of elders laboring in the Word and in doctrine. It takes effort for people to minister to others and keep themselves in tune with the Lord so that we can be effective ministers. Those who are looking for an easy job should not consider the ministry.
Note 4 at Php 2:25: Part of Epaphroditus' ministry to Paul was financial. In Php 4:10, Paul said the Philippians' care for him had flourished again. Then in Php 4:15, Paul commended the Philippians for their financial contributions to his ministry. In Php 4:18, Paul spoke of receiving through Epaphroditus their financial aid once again.
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