“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”
Chapter 2 of Philippians gives four examples of authentic biblical mental attitude. The first is the inimitable, matchless, peerless Lord Jesus. Then Paul turned to three lesser examples. First, he gave himself as an example; he was willing to pour himself out as a sacrifice. Timothy was a selfless servant. Then Paul turned to Epaphroditus.
“Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus”
Epaphroditus appears only twice in the Bible, here and 4:18. From verses 25 to 30, Paul presented one of the least-known yet spiritually powerful men in the Bible. Even the venerated apostle Paul held him in high regard. Epaphroditus probably came from a non-Christian background. His name means belonging to Venus. Venus was a goddess. He might have been a polytheist (worshiper of many gods) before he became a Christian.
After he became a Christian, he emerged into becoming a leading member of the Philippian church, maybe even its pastor. He was charged to deliver a love gift to Paul (4:18) and to stay and help him (2:25,30).
On his trip and stay in Rome, he became dangerously ill “for the work of Christ.” He almost died (v. 27). After his recovery, Paul sent him back home. Upon his return, he delivered the epistle to the Philippians.
It takes an orientation to continually serve others.
Epaphroditus was willing to serve even to the point of death. It is one thing to hold a nice thought about serving others. It is another to hold a conviction so deeply as to form an orientation, a bearing that is willing not only to give but to sacrifice for others.