Carmel Sermons Resources

Home / Carmel Sermons / Improbable Joy – Philippians 2:19-30

Improbable Joy – Philippians 2:19-30

Mar 18, 2024
video-link podcast-link download-link

Right here in the middle of Paul’s letter, he does something a little unexpected. He gives us living examples of men worth imitating. Typically, this would be at the beginning or end of the letter, but by putting it here in the middle, it brings more emphasis to it. Both Timothy and Epaphroditus were examples of verses 1:5 and 3:17.

First, Paul mentions Timothy (vs 19-24). Paul was a father in the faith to Timothy, and loved him dearly. Timothy was kind. He epitomized vs 2:3-4 when it says, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Paul says, “there is no one like him”, which means he is “equal-souled” to Paul.

C.S. Lewis said, “True friends don’t spend time gazing into each other’s eyes…but they face int he same direction – towards common projects, interests, goals – above all, toward a common Lord.” This was Timothy.

Timothy was also like kin to Paul (v 22). Timothy traveled over 800 miles for Paul, which proved his character and loyalty. That is why Paul mentions him 24 times in his letters.

Second, Paul mentions Epaphroditus. He would have come from a very pagan family since his name came from the Greek goddess, Aphrodite. According to chapter 4, Epaphroditus brought Paul financial help from the church in Philippi. He volunteered to make a dangerous 800-mile trip to Paul. The church probably expected him to stay and minister to Paul, but Paul tells them that he’s sending him back because Ephaproditus had gotten gravely sick.

Paul describes Epaphroditus as “my brother, fellow worker, fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister”. Epaphroditus had such a heart for people that he was “distressed” that the church in Philippi was worried about him because he was so sick. Paul tells the church to honor him when he shows up. It is a reminder for us to look for the people who are not known and show them honor and encourage them. Romans 12:10 says, “outdo one another in showing honor.”

We were not built to live life alone. A life with good friends is a good life.

Questions to consider:

  1. Who in your life is worth imitating? Is your life worth imitating?
  2. Who is the Paul in your life, someone that loves you like a parent in the faith?
  3. Who is your Barnabus, someone who encourages you?
  4. Who is the Timothy in your life, someone who you give your life to as you disciple them?