But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly to you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.…
The solicitude of the apostle was evinced —
I. BY WHAT HE HOPES TO DO.
1. To send Timothy.
(1) That he may carry good news to them.
(2) That he may be of spiritual profit to them.
(3) That he may bring back tidings from them.
2. To visit them himself. This is contingent
(1) upon the Lord's will;
(2) upon his release from imprisonment.
II. BY WHAT HE HAS ALREADY DONE in sending Epaphroditus to them. Paul sent them their own messenger.
1. A man of the highest worth.
2. For his (Epaphroditus') improvement: he had been sick, and greatly longed to see them.
3. For their joy at his return with tidings of a mission successfully accomplished (and as the bearer of this Epistle).
4. For his (Paul's) own comfort therein.
III. And BY WHAT HE HOPES WILL BE THEIR CONDUCT toward Epaphroditus.
1. To receive him in the Lord with all gladness.
2. To hold him in reputation, i.e., honour him.
3. Because his accomplished mission showed him to be worthy of all.
IV. FIVE REFLECTIONS.
1. Well wishers are to be determined and judged by their ability to perform.
2. We ought to think of the comfort of others as well as of our own.
3. Faithful ministers are worthy of esteem and honour, and especially missionaries.
4. A self-sacrificing spirit is the highest and loveliest trait of character that man can reach and possess.
5. Epaphroditus, through the loveliness of his character (he had not been misnamed), his courage, consistency, zeal, and unselfishness, in six verses of an epistle (his only mention) acquires an immortality of fame that a Caesar might covet. Goodness is true greatness, and exalts its possessor to the stars.
(L. O. Thompson.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.