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.
25. I supposed—"I thought it necessary."
to send—It was properly a sending Epaphroditus back (Php 4:18). But as he had come intending to stay some time with Paul, the latter uses the word "send" (compare Php 2:30).
fellow soldier—in the "good fight" of faith (Php 1:27, 30; 2Ti 2:3; 4:7).
your messenger—literally, "apostle." The "apostles" or "messengers of the churches" (Ro 16:7; 2Co 8:23), were distinct from the "apostles" specially commissioned by Christ, as the Twelve and Paul.
ministered to my wants—by conveying the contributions from Philippi. The Greek "leitourgon," literally, implies ministering in the ministerial office. Probably Epaphroditus was a presbyter or else a deacon.