Philippians 2:25 – 30 Epaphroditus the Returning Soldier
Soldiers returning home from the battlefront can be a time of conflicting emotions. There is
the joy of having loved ones back, but there are also a number of other issues. Is a soldier
returning under a cloud like so many American soldiers after Biden basically pulled out the
American forces from Afghanistan, 73% felt betrayed by their country; and 67% felt
If they return home early before their tour is up is it because of injury or have
they disgraced themselves. Many soldiers have risked their lives and those back home are
unaware of their sacrifice and they can feel disconnected and unappreciated; not to mention
the PTSD that many soldiers experience. Homecoming can be difficult. Epaphroditus is a
returning soldier who has risked his life on the front line. He has represented those who
sent him and is now coming home early. He has been injured in the line of duty and
rumours of his death were rampant. Paul, the field general is sending Epaphroditus home
and the verses before us give an outline of his service record and the reason for the home
assignment. 2:25-30, ‘I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother
and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need,
has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill.
Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on
me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
I am the more eager to send him,
therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious.
receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men,
for he nearly died for the work
of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.