|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:19-30 It is best with us, when our duty becomes natural to us. Naturally, that is, sincerely, and not in pretence only; with a willing heart and upright views. We are apt to prefer our own credit, ease, and safety, before truth, holiness, and duty; but Timothy did not so. Paul desired liberty, not that he might take pleasure, but that he might do good. Epaphroditus was willing to go to the Philippians, that he might be comforted with those who had sorrowed for him when he was sick. It seems, his illness was caused by the work of God. The apostle urges them to love him the more on that account. It is doubly pleasant to have our mercies restored by God, after great danger of their removal; and this should make them more valued. What is given in answer to prayer, should be received with great thankfulness and joy.
Verse 21. - For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's. All of them, he says (οἱ πάντες); Timothy is the one exception. He calls those about him brethren in Philippians 4:21; but, it seems, they were like St. Paul, not willing to spend and to be spent for the salvation of souls. It was a great sacrifice in one who so yearned for Christian sympathy to submit to the absence of the one true loving friend. St. Paul's spiritual isolation increases our wonder and admiration for the strain of holy joy which runs through this Epistle.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For all seek their own,.... Meaning not every individual, but the greatest part; and not merely such as were manifestly false teachers, but such as were with the apostle, as ministers of the word; and we may suppose him to be stripped, by one means or another, of the more valuable preachers of the Gospel, and to be in much such a case as he describes himself to be, in 2 Timothy 4:10. He had none with him, excepting a very few, but such as he speaks of in the preceding chapter, that preached Christ of envy, strife, and contention; and these chiefly sought their own worldly interest and advantage; they sought great things for themselves, and looked every man for his gain from his quarter, Demas like, loving this present world, 2 Timothy 4:10; they sought for dominion and authority over men, and their faith, to lord it over God's heritage, as Diotrephes, who loved to have the preeminence, 3 John 1:9; they sought for popular applause, for honour and glory of men, as the Pharisees of old did; and particularly their own ease and health, and did not choose to undertake such a fatiguing journey as from Rome to Philippi:
not the things which are Jesus Christ; they had no true regard to the Gospel of Christ, to the continuance, establishment, and spread of it in the world, or in any particular place; nor any hearty affection for the ordinances of Christ, and the retaining and preserving of them in their purity and simplicity; nor for the churches of Christ, and their spiritual good and welfare, as the Jews formerly, they cared not if the house of God lay waste, provided they dwelt in their ceiled houses; nor had they any concern for the honour and glory of Christ. But Timothy was a man of a quite different spirit and complexion; and which is another reason of the apostle's sending him to this place and people.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
21. Translate as Greek, "They all" (namely, who are now with me, Php 1:14, 17; Php 4:21: such Demas, then with him, proved to be, Col 4:14; compare 2Ti 4:10; Phm 24).
seek their own—opposed to Paul's precept (Php 2:4; 1Co 10:24, 33; 13:5). This is spoken, by comparison with Timothy; for Php 1:16, 17 implies that some of those with Paul at Rome were genuine Christians, though not so self-sacrificing as Timothy. Few come to the help of the Lord's cause, where ease, fame, and gain have to be sacrificed. Most help only when Christ's gain is compatible with their own (Jud 5:17, 23).
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