V 25. Meanwhile, I thought I should send Epaphroditus back to you. He is a true brother, co-worker, and fellow soldier. And he was your messenger to help me in my need.
We get another little insight here into the way in which Paul’s friends stood by and helped him in various ways. We again find Timothy, this time going to Philippi to help people on Paul’s behalf just as we read about him yesterday going to Thessalonica. We also catch a glimpse of a little-known man, Epaphroditus, who worked alongside Paul. We hear of him again in Philippians 4:18, ‘At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God. ‘ It seems that he was a willing traveller as well as a friend, taking gifts to Paul from Philippi. This would have been no easy assignment, as Paul was in prison in Rome at the time.
Friendship is love in practice and it will go to great lengths to express itself. You couldn’t just jump on a plane and fly to Rome from Philippi, look up these places on a modern map; it wouldn’t be an easy trip even these days.
It perhaps challenges us to stay in touch with old friends, even visiting them from time to time to renew friendship and encourage one another. Have you got any friends who could do with that kind of visit? Some folk make a point of visiting old friends as they travel away for holidays. Could you do that as you plan a trip away?