Philippians 2:25-30 Scripture
“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; 26 since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. 27 For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
“28 Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful. 29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem; 30 because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me.” (Philippians 2:25-30)
Philippians 2:25 Meaning
“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” (Philippians 2:25).
Before we look at this passage of scripture in detail I must first mention that the book of Philippians was primarily written by Paul to thank the Philippian church for sending funds to him while he was under house arrest in Rome (Philippians 4:14-20 & Acts 28:16 & 30-31).
Epaphroditus, the one mentioned in this verse, was the one who brought the gift to Paul. This is why Paul calls him the Philippian’s “messenger and the one who ministered to my need.”
It is also why Paul says, “Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God” (Philippians 4:18).
So Epaphroditus was the one who was sent from the Philippian church to bring the gifts/funds to Paul and he also apparently brought a message with him as well.
Also, Epaphroditus appears to have stayed with Paul to assist him in preaching the Gospel for some time because Paul speaks of him in this verse as someone who would speak of their close friend.
In this verse, Paul calls him “my brother” (belongs to the body of Christ), “fellow worker” (working with the same purpose), and “fellow soldier” (experiencing the same trials).
And finally, we see that Epaphroditus was the one who delivered this letter to the Philippian church. We know this because Paul says, “I felt it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus” which implies that he was the one who had the original Philippians letter with him.
Philippians 2:26 Meaning
“…since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick.”(Philippians 2:26)
Here we see why Paul felt it necessary to send Epaphroditus.
Epaphroditus was apparently longing to see the Philippians, his home church, because he didn’t want them to be worried about him being sick anymore.
Philippians 2:27 Meaning
“For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.” (Philippians 2:27)
Epaphroditus was very sick. He could have gotten sick while he was on the road or while he stayed with Paul. We have no way of knowing when he got sick or how he got sick but one thing we do know is that God miraculously healed him.
We can assume that the apostle Paul probably laid hands on him and prayed for him to be healed.
We can assume this because Paul consistently prayed for people to be healed throughout the Book of Acts and they were all healed. We see this happen in Acts 14:3, Acts 14:9-10, Acts 19:11, and Acts 28:8-9.
So whether Paul participated in Epaphroditus’ healing or not, God had mercy on him and spared Paul from sorrow.
Philippians 2:28 Meaning
“Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful.” (Philippians 2:28)
The Greek word for “more eagerly” in this verse is actually “more speedily” i.e. sooner than otherwise. In other words, Paul is saying here that he is sending Epaphroditus back to the Philippians sooner than he intended to originally.
The reason for this is Epaphroditus’ sickness. Paul wanted the Philippians to be comforted knowing that the man they sent to care for Paul was in fact healthy and okay.
Also, it is important to mention that Paul is not speaking of sorrow as to mean sadness, he is simply saying that he will feel better knowing that the concerns of the Philippians will be settled.
Philippians 2:29-30 Meaning
“Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem; 30 because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me.” (Philippians 2:29-30)
Paul exhorts the Philippians to receive Epaphroditus with gladness and to honor him and to esteem him highly.
Because Epaphrositus was willing to die for the work of Christ. He did not regard his life as if it was his own, but humbly served the Gospel and the Apostle Paul.
Men like this deserve our respect and our appreciation.
We should all be working for the cause of Christ, sharing the Gospel, and making disciples, without the fear of death or persecution. But when someone has actually faced persecution and death and yet remained faithful to the Lord, we should honor and admire that person as this scripture says.
What exactly did Epaphroditus do?
Epaphroditus was the man who brought Paul gifts and funds from the Philippian church. He also stayed with Paul and cared for him and ministered alongside him while Paul was under house arrest in Rome. Epaphroditus then carried the Philippians letter that Paul wrote back to his home church in Philippi.
Here are some facts about Epaphroditus:
He assisted Paul while he was under house arrest (Philippians 2:30).
The Apostle Paul and him probably became close friends. (Philippians 2:25).
He got sick to the point of death while he was either with Paul or on the road traveling to Paul (Philippians 2:27).
He carried the original letter written by Paul to the Philippians. (Philippians 2:25).
He was a well-respected disciple of Christ among the apostle Paul and the Philippian church (Philippians 2:29-30).
I hope you enjoyed this article and that it assisted you in your walk with God!
If you want to read more commentary on Philippians you can check out my complete verse-by-verse commentary on Philippians chapter 1.
Or you can read the following articles on Philippians chapter 2:
God bless you all and enjoy!