After sharing with the Philippians how they should follow the example of Christ, Paul talks of two men who did just that.
Paul says of a man named Timothy (the same one found in I and II Timothy),
I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. For everyone looks out for his own interests,not those of Jesus Christ. But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. (20-22)
Paul had exhorted the Philippians earlier,
Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (2:4)
And now here, he tells the Philippians, “Timothy is such a man. So many others live only for themselves. But Timothy is different. He has followed Christ’s example and he is genuinely concerned for you and is interested in your welfare. More, he has been faithful in serving with me for the sake of the gospel.”
Paul then commended another man named Epaphroditus. Epaphroditus apparently had been sent by the Philippians to help Paul in his ministry. But while he was with Paul, he got sick and nearly died. And so Paul was sending him back. Lest the Philippians think that Epaphroditus was somehow a failure, however, Paul told them, “He is my brother, my fellow worker, and fellow soldier.” More, he told them,
Welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor men like him, because he almost died for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up for the help you could not give me. (29-30)
Just as Christ had been willing to lay down his life to do the Father’s will, Epaphroditus had done the same. And so Paul said, “Welcome him with honor. You would do well to follow his example.”
And so would we. How are you living? Are you looking toward the interests of others above your own? Or are you still looking out for number one?
Are you still living for yourself? Or are you willing to do anything the Father tells you, even if it costs you your very life? Oh it may not cost you your literal life. But God may call you to leave your job. He may call you to leave your country. He may call you to leave your comfortable life in order to serve him. Will you do it?
Will you follow these men’s example? More importantly, will you follow Christ’s?