one else of
(Phil 2:2, 22; Ps 55:13; Pr 31:29; Jn 10:13; 12:6; 1Cor 1:10,11; Col
4:11; 1Ti 1:2; 2Ti 1:5)
(echo) means to have or hold and so to possess. Paul possessed
no one else like Timothy.
one else (3762) (oudeis
from ou = absolutely not + dé = but + heis
= one) is literally "but absolutely not one" or not even one.
This is a very sad commentary. It reminds one of Paul's statements to
Timothy shortly before he died...
You are aware of the fact that
all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus
and Hermogenes. (see note
Demas, having loved this present
world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has
gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. (2Ti 4:10-note)
At my first defense no one
supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted
against them. (2Ti 4:16-note)
spirit (2473) (isopsuchos from ísos = equal +
= soul, mind, life)
is literally one of equal soul, thus like–minded or of like
character and activated by the same motives. The idea is having much
in common with another. "Sharing the same feelings" (UBS). Latin
Vulgate = "unanimus".
then a man after Paul's own heart,
one in thought, feeling, and spirit with Paul in love for the church.
Mathematically speaking their "triangles were congruent." The
idea is that Timothy thought like Paul and had a similar perspective
so that he would likely interpret situation much like Paul would if he
had been present. Paul could rely on any report from Timothy as being
similar to one he himself would have brought back.
This is the only NT use of this
word and there is one in the
in Psalm 55...
But it is you, a man my equal (a man like me; Lxx =
isopsuchos), my companion and my familiar friend
Vine notes that
is used in the
of Ps 55:13, “thou, O man
likeminded.” A similar phrase is found in
Deut 13:6, “a
friend equal to thy soul.” (Ed: In Dt 13:6 the Greek is not
actually "isopsuchos" but "isos tes psuches", literally "as
thine own soul") (Vine, W. Collected Writings of W. E.
Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
Only here in N.T. (See LXX, Ps.
55:13) Supply moi, not Timotheo. Timothy was to be sent to
minister to them in Paul’s stead. Moreover, the quality of Timothy’s
care for them is just that which marks Paul’s care—gnesios,
‘naturally,’ ‘by birth-relation,’ and therefore ‘truly’ or
‘genuinely’; with such a care as springs from a natural, parental
relation. In other words, there is no one who will care for them in a
fatherly way as Paul does. (See 1Co 4:15; 1Th 2:11; Philemon 1:10; 1Ti
1:2; Titus 1:4.) Timothy would have such a feeling for the Philippian
Christians, since he was associated with Paul in founding their
church. For gnesios, see Php 4:3; 2Co 8:8; 1Ti 1:2; Titus 1:4) (Philippians
Note that being "like-souled"
does not mean Paul and Timothy always agreed but it does mean that being alongside
each other was easy so that neither had to work hard at the
relationship and things flowed smoothly between them.
Paul now gives one of the most
important characteristics of being "kindred spirits" -- a
genuine concern for the welfare of others. What Paul had been
calling for in Php 2:3, 4, 5 (see note
both he and Timothy were carrying out in everyday life.
They were not just putting on a show of affection for these believers,
they were sincerely concerned about their estate. It is a sign of
spiritual maturity to not merely have much knowledge but to care
much, to live out that knowledge.
have numerous acquaintances and a few close friends in our life, but
finding a "like-souled" one is a most unusual and
delightful discovery. When it happens, both parties sense the kindred
bond and neither has to convince the other that they have a oneness of
spirit. Such was Paul's great joy and delight in his protégée Timothy
who stood out as a rare gem in a world of self-seekers.
Is there a person or people in your
are influencing to multiply your ministry?
That is the way the gospel spreads.
><> ><> ><>
A political leader, summing up the brokenness of our time, talked about
a "Humpty-Dumpty world." The intriguing phrase takes us back to a
childhood nursery rhyme:
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall;
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again.
The message of that old rhyme is
true to life. Man is broken and needs to be put together again. The
Creator of the universe cares about our situation and has taken steps to
restore us to wholeness. He came into the world in the person of Jesus
Christ, and He fashioned the church as His body so that the members
should "care for one another" (1Corinthians 12:25). Timothy
demonstrated that kind of care for Paul, and for other believers
Caring is as basic as giving money to help destitute Christians or
looking after aged parents; as simple as being patient and kind or
visiting widows and orphans in distress; as obvious as paying a just
wage to employees; or as unspectacular as giving a cup of cool water to
someone who thirsts. That's how our Savior would have us care for broken
people in our Humpty-Dumpty world. Are we letting Jesus care through us?
—H W Robinson
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
A gentle word, a kindly deed
To help the ones who have a need,
A smile that Christ's great love imparts—
Such caring stands to win their hearts. —Brandt
If you really
care, you'll want to share.
See also (What
Is Real Love?)
><> ><> ><>
Encouragers Needed (Please Apply)
Discouragement is a problem for many Christians. While they may not be
distressed about health, family, or work, they're discouraged about
their spiritual service. They compare themselves to others who are
gifted with musical talents or the ability to teach the Bible. They see
people who are able to give generously and pray with evident
effectiveness, but they
think they can't do these things. As a result,
they feel they are useless to God. They need to realize, however, that
every Christian is qualified to carry on at least one helpful
ministry--the ministry of encouragement.
Renowned preacher Robert Dale was walking one day in Birmingham,
England, where he was pastoring the great Carr's Lane Church. He was
under a dark cloud of gloom when a woman came up to him and exclaimed,
"God bless you,
Dr. Dale. If you
could only know how you have made me feel hundreds of times!"
Then off she hurried. Dale later
"The mist broke, the
sunlight came, and I
breathed the free air of the mountains of God."
The apostle Paul knew how
important it was not only to be encouraged by others (Phil.
2:19) but to
be an encourager (Acts 20:2; 27:35-36). That's a ministry all of us can
be involved in. --V C Grounds (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
It may seem insignificant
To say a word or two,
But when it is encouragement,
What wonders it can do! --K. De Haan
Even if you have nothing else to give,
you can always give
><> ><> ><>
concerned for your
(1104) (gnesios is an adverb
derived from génos = born) ((gnesios, literally is born in
wedlock; thus, “like a brother”) when referring to children
meant those of born in wedlock and so legitimately or lawfully born.
The related noun form gnesios is used figuratively in
the NT to describe one who is genuine, true and not degenerate. Gnesios described the relation of a disciple to his teacher.
For example in the introduction of Titus Paul writes
"to Titus, my true
child in a common faith" (see note
The word "true" is the noun form, gnesios,
and describes Titus as one who is a legitimate, truly born again
believer. So Timothy was like
a real, born son naturally cares for his father’s interests and not in
pretence only. Timothy had a genuine sense of responsibility. He was a
straight shooter. He was a person you could count upon to get at the
truth of the matter. In the present context the emphasis is upon the sincere
concern Timothy had for the Philippian saints which explains his
selection as emissary from Paul. Timothy was the "genuine
article" or the "real thing" as we might say today.
concerned (3309) (merimnao
from mérimna = anxious care
in turn from merizo = to divide or draw different directions -
which is exactly what anxiety does to most of us!) (Click
in depth word study)
means to have an anxious concern, give one’s thought to a matter, and
expresses a strong feeling for something or someone, often to the
point of being burdened.
Timothy could be depended upon to have a very
real and appropriate "anxious concern" about the welfare of the
Philippians. Paul uses this same verb later in a "negative" sense
telling his beloved saints to "be
nothing" (see note
the contrasting meanings of the same verb illustrating the importance
of context in accurate interpretation. In the present verse being anxious (caring, concerned) is a good
thing. Similarly, using the related noun form (merimna)
"the daily pressure upon me of concern for all the churches." (2Cor
When Timothy was with others, his heart was sincerely touched by their
needs. Read the next verse to also help understand something of
Timothy's concern -- he did seek after his own interests
but those of Christ Jesus.
Timothy was unique in his selfless (cf see note
Philippians 2:3-4) unselfish care for
the spiritual condition of the Philippians. There was no one else whom
Paul could send to them with the same confidence. Timothy was truly a
man who was more "other-centered" than "self-centered."
is not what is on the label; it is what is inside that counts. We can
lead in name only by our title or we can lead by character and
Josiah Holland wrote
GOD, GIVE US MEN!
A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor; men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty and in private thinking;
For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps.
-- Josiah Gilbert Holland, "God, Give Us Men!" quoted in
The Best Loved Poems of the American People, selected by Hazel Felleman (Garden City: Garden City Books, 1936), p. 132.
F B Meyer...
NOT SORROW UPON SORROW
The Bible is so Divine because it
is so human. This chapter began with the sorrows of the Son of God; it
ends with the sorrow of His Apostle; and the Holy Spirit does not deem
it incongruous to deal first with the wonderful condescension of our
blessed Master from the supernal Throne to the Cross of shame, and
then to turn back to what was transacting in a human breast, of hope
and fear, of sorrow and joy, on the banks of the muddy Tiber. So,
beloved, however great God is, and however vast the range and
circumference of His interests, there is not one tear that you shed,
one sorrow that you feel, that is not of exceeding importance and care
The Great God, who, in the Person of His Son, stooped from the Throne
to the Cross, and is now exalted above all conception, yet thinks of
His prisoner in the hired house at Rome, and sees to it that the
pressure of sorrow shall not be too great for the delicate machinery
of his frail heart to sustain.
The facts as here stated. The Philippian Church; the Apostle Paul;
Timothy; Epaphroditus; God.
THE CHURCH AT PHILIPPI
(1) The Church at Philippi (Phil. 2:25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30). For
ten years the Christians there had not assisted the Apostle; not that
they had forgotten him, but because they had had no opportunity. He
was in circumstances where they could not reach him. It might have
been supposed that they had forgotten, but such love as theirs never
forgets. It may not be able to furnish assistance, but it still burns
on the altar of the heart.
Be loyal to your love; whatever else you forget in the world, never
forget the claims of friendship. Let love be cherished above all other
treasures. Trust each other's love, and when there is no sign or
token, still believe that your friend is loyal, and only awaiting the
moment when his help may reveal an undying, unaltering affection. The
Philippians were only waiting until the time came, the time when they
could help best. Give a man bread when he is hungry, drink when he is
thirsty, and clothes when he is naked; watch your moment. Ah, if we
would but watch the timely moment, when some spirit is failing, when
hope threatens to expire, when heart and soul faint, and would strike
it then, how many desperate deeds we should arrest, and how many
heart-broken ones we should encourage to face with fresh hope the
difficulty and responsibility of life! Be true to your friends; trust
your friends; redeem the opportunity.
THE IMPRISONED APOSTLE.
(2) The Apostle Paul. He could preach, but he was a handcuffed
prisoner; and in that dreary apartment, from which he looked out
wearily upon liberty, he was often lonely. He had sent everybody away
whom he could trust, except Timothy and Epaphroditus. But he was
extremely anxious about the welfare of his Philippian friends; and he
knew that they were equally anxious about him; he gave up, therefore,
the one man of all others who was dear to him--Timothy--and sent him
to bring word about their state, and that they might be comforted in
knowing about his. Because the Philippians were so true in their love
to him, he counted no sacrifice too great to show his love to them.
The man who lives nearest God is always nearest his fellows, and he
who is most sensitive towards God is most sensitive towards man, and
will rather go without his dearest and nearest, to show how much he is
prepared to do to sympathise with and help others. Be always willing
to sacrifice your Timothy's if you may give a ray of comfort to the
distant friends at Philippi.
THE HELPER, TIMOTHY.
(3) Timothy. Timothy loved Paul as a child his father (Phil. 2:22,
R.V.). He had been delicately reared; his constitution was weak, so
much so that the Apostle even advised him to take a little wine for
his often infirmities; and perhaps he was too sensitive to stand
against strong opposition and dislike. But, with all this, he was a
man of rare sweetness of disposition and grace of character. He had
great faith in the Lord Jesus, and was staunch and loyal to his
friend. Probably his love to Paul strengthened his character, and the
demand that Paul made on him brought out his noblest and best, so that
young Timothy grew to be a hero under the touch of love. What a
wonderful power love is--the right kind of love! There is a selfish,
hurtful, harmful love that enervates and injures its objects; there is
another, an unselfish love, that draws out the best and noblest,
making the timid strong and brave, and eliciting the hero that had
lain buried in the soul. Timothy would therefore be sent to Philippi,
as soon as the Apostle knew how his trial would turn out; and probably
the Apostle would closely follow him (Phil. 2:23-24).
(4) Epaphroditus. The Apostle speaks of Epaphroditus, who was to
carry this Epistle, as the minister and apostle from Philippi, because
he had brought the gifts of Philippi over sea and land. He describes
him also, with exquisite delicacy, as My brother. There is no kinship
so close as that brotherhood into which a common love to God brings
two men. "My brother, my fellow-worker, my fellow-soldier" (Phil.
2:25, R.V.). Epaphroditus was a man of much less gift than Paul, yet
Paul seemed to forget the disparity and speaks of him as his equal--my
fellow-worker and fellow-soldier, because to work for Christ, and to
fight side by side in the ranks of Christ's Gospel, must bring soul
close to soul.
Epaphroditus, the Suppliant. Epaphroditus is probably referred
to as Epaphras in Col. 4:12, and there we learn that he laboured
fervently in prayer, that the distant Churches might be perfect in all
the will of God. The word used of this good man's prayer, is agonise;
he agonised as a gladiator in an amphitheatre, or an athlete in an
arena. He was so intense in his intercession for his brethren in the
faith, that it seemed as though his very veins stood out as whipcord,
and his whole soul was knit into an agony. This simple man prayed so
earnestly that Paul said he was like a gladiator wrestling in the
amphitheatre. He had fallen sick; perhaps he had taken Roman-fever
when diving down into some of the worst parts of Rome to look after
lost men, who, like Onesimus, had gone astray, and in one of these
terrible dens of infamy, where the air was heavy with disease and
impurity, this good man Epaphroditus was taken ill (Phil. 2:30). When
tidings came to the Apostle, they nearly broke his heart, because he
feared that his friend would die, and he be unable to visit him or to
Epaphroditus was, however, spared, but in his convalescence was sore
troubled, because, somehow, the Philippians had come to hear of his
sickness, and would naturally be filled with profound anxiety about
it. So delicate is life in its sensitiveness. It is a difficult
question to decide how much love ought to tell the loved one. You
might have supposed Epaphroditus ought to tell, and would be glad to
tell, his Philippian friends. But he thought otherwise. He felt that
they had trouble and responsibility and anguish enough, and he did not
want to add one additional burden to those who were already weighted
to the ground.
Reticence and Frankness. Perhaps it is wise, when we are so far
away from those we love that they cannot possibly help us, to keep
back something of the pain and sorrow through which we are going; but
with those whom we are meeting day by day we should not be reticent,
for reticence is often the death-blow of love. The only thing about
which we do well to be reticent to our intimate friends is when we
have been slighted or injured. Under such circumstances it is good not
to speak, because, maybe, we shall magnify the slight into an actual
wrong, whilst if we do not speak about it we shall forget it.
In other things it is well to be frank. Confidence is the native air
of love. Those words of Lord Bacon's, in his inimitable essay upon
Friendship, are perfectly true. "We know," he says, "that diseases of
stoppings and suffocations are most dangerous to the body; and it is
not much otherwise in the mind. You may take sarza to open the liver,
steel to open the spleen, flower of sulphur for the lungs, castoreum
for the brain; but no receipt openeth the heart but a true friend, to
whom you may impart griefs, joys, fears, hopes, suspicions, counsels,
and whatever lieth upon the heart to oppress it, in a kind of civil
shrift or confession."
We must admire Epaphroditus, whose love was so sensitive that he said:
"They cannot help me; if they were near enough to nurse me I would
tell them, but they are too far away." But when he knew that tidings
of his illness but not of his convalescence had reached them, the news
almost caused a relapse.
(5) God. St. Paul lived in a very atmosphere of love. Think of it.
All around, the world lay in hate, malice, and envy; but in that hired
room in Rome there was the intense focus-point of love. In the midst
of winter all around, there was summer in that hired house. In the
midst of the dark night of heathenism there was the one beautiful spot
of heavenly life.
The Philippian gifts were all about the place, showing they had not
forgotten him. So far from forgetting them, the Apostle was thinking
of sending Timothy, though it seemed like tearing a part of himself
away. Timothy was, also, as intent on serving him as a child a father,
and daring to share his bonds and shame. In addition, there was
Epaphroditus anxious because the Philippians were anxious, and
distressed beyond measure because he added to their grief. There was a
perfect hothouse of love--palms, fruits, and flowers in a tropical
atmosphere amid the wintry climate. And out of all that there came
this blessed faith in God that He would not add sorrow to sorrow. Paul
said to himself: "I am quite sure God is just like man, only better. I
am quite sure that God is as thoughtful and sensitive as we are about
one another. I would not let Epaphroditus die, unless there were some
urgent reason to the contrary; if I could spare a servant of mine
sorrow I would." He argued from the love of which he was personally
conscious to the love above him, and said: "God is like a father,
mother, brother, sister, friend, all in one. The most tender, gentle,
sensitive being in the whole universe is God, and He will not add
sorrow to sorrow. There must be sorrow, that I may learn to sympathise
with sorrow, that my heart may be open towards all who suffer; but
there will be no needless adding of sorrow to sorrow." What a noble
conception is presented to us here of how human love lifts man to
understand the Divine love! We argue from the human to the Divine:
"How much more shall your heavenly Father give good things to them
that ask Him." He will not overdrive His flock; nor give us more than
we can bear; nor add one drop of needless grief to our heart's burden.
WE MAY DRAW THREE CONCLUSIONS
Christ and Human Friendship.
(First), Christ and Human Friendship. That Christ recognises human
friendships. Love is the one thing that makes life worth living. One
has said: "I would rather be condemned to be led out and hung, if I
knew one human soul would love me for a week beforehand and honour me
afterwards, than live half a century to be nothing to any living
creature." That life is richest which has most true friends; that life
is most worth living which is surrounded by the truest and tenderest
hearts. But do we prize human love enough? Do we requite it as we
should? Are we not too careless of these pearls of spiritual wealth?
Do we not break the necklace and loose the pearls too recklessly? Are
there not people in our own home-circle who, if they were to die this
week, would haunt our memory with infinite regret? "George," she said,
"I was a foolish girl, but I always loved you." But the kisses that
poured from the husband's lips were too late to arrest the death, and
undo the lovelessness of his treatment of the one whom he promised to
love with all his heart; and he must suffer always afterwards the
gnawing of a constant sorrow.
How eminently careful we ought to be to be loyal to love; to be
sensitive not needlessly to hurt, and never to fall beneath the high
standard put by Jesus Christ in his loyalty to Mary, Martha, and
Lazarus, and the rest. Jesus Christ recognises human love. Lacordaire,
the great French preacher, said, "Above all things, be kind. Kindness
is the one thing in which we most resemble God and help men. Kindness
in mutual relations is the principal charm of life." It would,
perhaps, be better to use the word love instead of kindness; for
kindness is often mere philanthropy, whereas love is of God. Christ
God as our Friend
(Secondly) God as our Friend. We may dare to impute to God the
feelings that we impute to our dearest friend. "That I might not have
sorrow upon sorrow." Some people are always asking the question, Do
you love God? It is far better to dwell on the assurance that God
loves you. It is a far more important thing to reckon that God loves
you, than for you to try to love God. It is no wonder that people
abstain from our places of worship, and go away into sin and
worldliness, because the Church has insisted so constantly that they
must love God, and they cannot; whereas if the Church would tell
people that God loves them, and that they may absolutely reckon on His
love, there would be an attraction in the message which would draw
them to the Saviour. In God's love they may always dare to impute the
very delicacy and tenderness which Paul felt towards Philippi, or
Epaphroditus towards his fellow-Christians.
"And so beside the silent sea
I wait the muffled oar:
No harm from Him can come to me
On ocean or on shore.
"I know not where His islands lift
Their fronded palms in air;
I only know I cannot drift
Beyond His love and care."
Always know and believe in the love
of God. God is Love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and
God in him.
Influence of the Love of God.
(Thirdly), Influence of the Love of God. The love of God, when it is
believed in, makes us very sensitive to other people. We have our
blessed human friendships. From these we rise to conceive of God, and
from God we come back to love all men. As with waterfalls, the water
dropping from a great height scatters a spray, which makes the stones
and boulders array themselves in verdure; so the love of God, falling
upon our hearts, will make us very tender towards our
fellow-Christians and all men. We must love the suffering and the
lost, the loveless and implacable, with something of the love that
fills the heart of God, and which never fails. From individuals we
rise to God, from God we return to individuals, and from individuals
we go forth to the great world.
Love is the only clue to the mysteries of life. As one grows older and
knows more, one is more absolutely appalled at the mysteries of sin,
and pain, and evil, and there is no clue but to believe that God
loves, and that in our turn we must love. St. John says: "Herein is
love made perfect that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment.''
When the worlds crash to ruin, when the universe is in the throes of
dissolution, and the eternal certainties are revealed, the only thing
which will make the soul strong and unmoved will be the sense that the
eternal God has loved it in Christ, and that it has sought to live a
life of tender holy love, which it will continue to live for evermore.
If you do not love God, or are not conscious that God loves you, what
have you to make you bold in the Day of Judgment? But here stands the
Christ Who loves you, Who in love came to die for you, Who by the
Spirit is knocking at the door of your heart, Who is pouring out to
you a very torrent of love. Have you been disloyal to it? Have you
tried its patience to the uttermost? Have you repaid it as Othello did
the loving devotion of Desdemona? All, will not your hell be your
remorse, that you thus refused the love of God in Christ? God help
you. Believe that God loves you in Christ, and go forth to live a life
of perfect love, not causing sorrow upon sorrow, either to Him who
loves you so unutterably, or to any other living soul.
B. Meyer. The Epistle to the Philippians - A Devotional Commentary)