VERSE 19-24:  Timothy, the Faithful Companion

“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.”

Having finished the first part of this chapter, which contained exhortations to duty, Paul now comes to the second part of it, containing arguments of comfort; and here first he comforts the Philippians, by promising to send Timothy unto them shortly.

“But I trust in [the] Lord Jesus”
Literally:  “But I hope in [the] Lord Jesus.”–His hope was that the Lord Jesus would so order affairs as to permit this; an expression that no man could use who did not regard the Lord Jesus as on the throne, and as more than human.

He is Governor and Disposer of all events, being above all principality and power; and I humbly confide in His power and goodness that I shall be a little longer spared to visit you again, (v. 24), and to be able to send Timothy to you shortly.  Paul trusted in Him as the God of providence as well as of grace.

“to send Timotheus shortly unto you,”
Literally:  “To send Timothy to you soon.”–There was a special reason why Paul desired to send Timothy to them rather than another person, which he says in v. 22, “Ye know the proof of him, that as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.” 

         From this passage, as well as from 1:1, where Timothy is joined with Paul in the salutation, it is evident that he had been with the apostle at Philippi. But this fact is nowhere mentioned in the sixteenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, (Acts 16:1-3),  which contains an account of the visit of Paul to that place. In the Acts of the Apostles it is said that when Paul came to Derbe and Lystra he found a certain disciple named Timothy, whom he would have go forth with him,
         The narrative then proceeds with an account of the progress of Paul through various provinces of Asia Minor, till it brings him to Troas. There he was warned in a vision to go over into Macedonia. In answering this call, he passed over the AEgean Sea, came to Samothracia, and thence to Neapolis, and thence to Philippi. No mention is made of Timothy being with Paul at Philippi; but after he had left that city, and had gone to Berea, where the “brethren sent away Paul,” it is added, “but Silas and Timotheus abode there still.”  From this it is evident that he had accompanied them in their journey, and had no doubt been with them at Philippi.
         At the time Paul wrote, he did not expect to wait long before sending Timothy to check on the Philippian church.  Paul was uneasy as he wondered about the spiritual progress of these believers, and he planned to send Timothy to them soon to bring back a report and put his mind at ease.  This gives us an insight into the life of Paul himself.  He was concerned about the progress of new Christians.  They were on his mind even though he himself was in a trial before the Roman court.

“that I also may be of good comfort”
Literally:  “that I may also be cheered”– The words express some anxiety, but greater confidence, as to the news which Timothy on returning was likely to bring. We have instances of a similar but far stronger anxiety of affection in II Cor. 2:113; 7:6-7.  In regard to the Philippians it might exist in detail, but was swallowed up in confidence on all main points.

“when I know your state.”
Literally:  “Knowing the things about you.”–By the correct information which I shall receive from Timothy. It was a considerable time since Epaphroditus had left the Philippians, and therefore, since Paul had been informed of their condition.

         Paul's reason for sending Timothy so soon after having heard of the Philippians from Epaphroditus was that they were now suffering persecutions (1:28-30); and besides, Epaphroditus' delay through sickness on his journey to Rome from Philippi, made the tidings he brought to be of less recent date than Paul desired. Paul himself also hoped to visit them shortly.
         From vv. 19-30, it appears that Epaphroditus was to set out at once to allay the anxiety of the Philippians on Paul’s account, and at the same time bearing the Epistle. Timothy was to follow after Paul's liberation was decided; then they could arrange their plans more definitely as to where Timothy should, on Epaphroditus” return with tidings from Philippi, meet Paul who was designing by a wider circuit, and slower progress, to reach that city.

“For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.”

“For I have no man likeminded,”
Literally:  “For I have no one likeminded” (as myself).”

         Timothy was exceptionally qualified in dealing with these Greek believers, for he himself was a native either of Derbe or of Lystra.  His mother Eunice was a Jewess, but his father was a Greek, and the fact that he was not circumcised would seem to show that he was educated in Greek customs (see Acts 16:1; Ii Tim. 1:5).  We know that he had been with Paul in Philippi (Acts 16), and he was associated with Paul in writing of no fewer than five of his epistles (I and II Thess.; II Cor.; Col.; and Phil, and when Paul wrote to the Romans, Timothy was mentioned as being with Paul (Rom. 16:21).
        None of all my fellow helpers in the Gospel have the same zeal and affectionate concern for your prosperity in every respect as he has.  He is isopsuchon, of the same soul; a man after my own heart.

           LIKEMINDED:  (Gr.-isopsuchon)–Literally: “similar in mind,” or “like-minded.” The meaning is, that there was no one with him who would feel so deep an interest in their welfare.

         The iso part of isopsuchon has the sense of “equal to.”  There was no one else equal to Timothy that Paul could send to Philippi to check on the believers there; and since no one else was so qualified as Timothy, Paul chose to be without his close companion for a time in order to learn about the Philippian believers.
         None of all my fellow helpers in the Gospel have the same zeal and affectionate concern for your prosperity in every respect as he has. He is isopsuchon—“of the same soul;” a man after my own heart.  This is the only place in the N.T. that this Greek word is used.  Paul is saying that Timothy’s quality was such that he genuinely cared for the Philippian believers, and Paul knew of no one else who was as qualified as Timothy to send to them.            

 “who will naturally care for your state.”
 Literally:  “Who will genuinely care for the things about you.

         NATURALLY: (Gr.-gnēsiōs)–Literally means “sincerely; genuinely.”  This is the only time that this Greek word is used in the N.T.  The idea is that he would regard their interests with a sincere tenderness and concern.

         This arose, doubtless, from the fact that he had been with them when the church was founded there, and that he felt a deeper interest in what related to the apostle Paul than any other man. Paul regarded Timothy as a son, and his sending him on such an occasion would evince the feelings of a father who should send a beloved son with an important message.
         Timothy might be depended on to enter heartily into their concerns.  This may have arisen from the fact that he had been with them when the church was founded there, and that he felt a deeper interest in what related to Paul than any other man.

“For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.”       

“For all seek their own,”
Literally:  “For all seek their own things.”–A sad commentary on the others. This is the reason that Paul knew of no one else to send. That is, all who are with me; of course there may have been exceptions, like Luke, who had also been most faithful in Rome and elsewhere; but Paul is here making a generalization, or else Luke may have been away from Rome at this time. 

         This must relate to the persons who preached Christ even of envy and strife, (1:15).  They must be very careless whether souls were saved or not by such preaching; and even those who preached the Gospel out of good will might not be fit for such an delegation as this, which required many sacrifices, and consequently much love and zeal to be able to make them.
         Who Paul had with him at this time is not fully known, but he doubtless means that this remark should apply to the mass of Christians and Christian ministers then in Rome. Perhaps he had proposed to some of them to go and visit the church at Philippi, and they had declined it because of the distance and the dangers of the way.

         How sadly true that in the church of Christ Jesus so few have a genuine devotion for Him and unselfishly serve the churchWhen Paul’s trial came on before the emperor, all who were with him in Rome fled from him, (II Tim. 4:16) and it is possible that the same disregard of his wishes and his welfare had already begun to manifest itself among the Christians who were at Rome, so that he was constrained to say that, as a general thing, they “sought their own” ease and comfort, and were unwilling to deny themselves in order to promote the happiness of those who lived in the remote parts of the world. Let us not be harsh in judging them. How many professing Christians in our cities and towns are there now who would not seek some excuse, and show that it was a characteristic that they “sought their own” rather than the things which pertained to the kingdom of Jesus Christ?

        ALL:  (Gr.-pantes)–namely, who are now with me, 1:14, 17; 4:21: such Demas, then with him, proved to be, Col. 4:14; compare 1:24; II Tim. 4:10).  Apparently spoken of those then in attendance on Paul.

“seek their own”
Literally:  “for seek their own things,–Evidently they are opposed to Paul's precept (v. 4;  I Cor. 10:24, 33::5).

         This is spoken, by comparison with Timothy; 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 (Judges 5:17, 23).
         Selfishness is natural to all, and Paul's companions, though being Christians, had only been partially delivered from this.  All men naturally love themselves with all the heart, and soul, and strength, and mind; but they do not love God. The gospel when embraced dethrones this idol, and leads men supremely to love God, and to seek the good of their fellow-men.

         Some in the church in Corinth were also self-seeking, and Paul referred to them as carnal:  “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.  For ye are yet carnal:  for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men.”    Wherever there is envying, strife and divisions, it is evident that believers there are seeking their own things rather than the things of Christ. 

“But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with
[the] father, he hath served with me in the gospel.”

“But ye know the proof of Him,”
Literally:  “but you know proof of Him”–You have had evidence among yourselves how faithfully Timothy devoted himself to the promotion of the gospel, and how constantly he served with me. This proves that Timothy was with Paul when he was at Philippi.

The Philippians had full proof of the affectionate attachment of Timothy to Paul, for he had labored with him there, as we learn from Acts 16:1-3; 17:14; and we find from what is said here that Timothy was not a servant to the apostle, but that he had served with him. They both labored together in the word and doctrine; for apostles and Christian bishops, in those times, labored as hard as their deacons. There were no sinecures; everyone was a laborer, every laborer had his work, and every workman had his wages.

        PROOF: (Gr.-dokimen)—This refers to that which has the quality of being approved.  This word was commonly used of the testing of metals and coins.  Three times they had seen Timothy (Acts 16:13; 19:22; 20:3).

         It could refer either to the process of the testing itself, or to the result of the testing, which was approval.  It is the result of testing that Paul had in mind in this context because the Philippians had viewed Timothy’s testing and knew his approved condition because of that testing.  Testing accomplishes something in one’s life that allows him to be better used in the future.  Had it not been for the testing through which Timothy had gone, his value to Paul at this time would not have been as great.
         Contrast, not of the person, but of the qualification, in order further to recommend him, whom he hopes soon to be able to send; not to make up for the disadvantage, that they can in the first instance only hope, etc.  The practical evidence of what he is. This they “knew,” by previous eyewitness there at Philippi.

“as a son with [the] father,”
Literally: “As a child to a father,” or, “as a child serving a father”–Displaying the same spirit towards me which a young child does towards a father, and displaying the same interest in my work.  He did all he could do to aid me, and lighten my labors and sufferings. 

         Paul appeals to their knowledge of Timothy serving as his assistant in a close bond described “as a son with a father.”    The definite article “the” does not appear in the Greek text before “father,” so it should really be understood as “a father,” or even as, “his father,”, since it refers to a father-son relationship. Paul here uses a peculiarity of phrase, speaking of Timothy partly as of a son, and partly as of a fellow laborer.

        CHILD:  (Gr.teknon)–This word was commonly used of a child, in contrast to the Greek word huios which referred to a son’s full-fledged position in the family. Paul evidently viewed Timothy as a child who worked not only for him but with him. 

“Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me.”

“Him therefore I hope to send presently,”
Literally:  “Then I hope to send this one at once”-

PRESENTLY:  (Gr.-ekautēs)–Forthwith, promptly, on ascertaining the outcome of my trial. 

“so soon as I shall see how it will go with me.”
Literally:  “Whenever I shall see the things about me.”–That is, so soon as I know for sure. .Paul’s trial appears to have been approaching, and he was doubtful of its result, though he seems to have had a general persuasion that he should be spared, (see 2:19, 24). 

Timothy was to wait for the news of the outcome of Paul’s trial.  The Philippians would not be left wondering about the outcome of Paul’s trials.  As soon as the decision was reached, Timothy would be sent to them.  Then they would know how Paul was faring, and he would be able to learn how they were doing.  It seems evident from v. 24 that Paul expected the outcome of the trial to be in his favor.

        I SHALL SEE:  (Gr.-aphidō)-Literally:  “I shall have seen.”  As soon as I shall see how it will go with me.  The compounded Greek preposition apo (“away from”) gives the sense of looking away from the present condition of affairs to what is going to turn out.

“But I trust in
[the] Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.”

         TRUST:  (Gr.-peitho)–Literally:, “to convince,” or “to persuade.”  This word is used here in the Greek perfect tense, emphasizing something that had taken place in the past with a continuing effect..

Paul had been persuaded in the past, and still was convinced at the time of his writing, that he was going to be released from prison and would be able to visit the Philippians shortly.  It may have taken longer than he had anticipated for his trial to take place, but he was still convinced that he would be released.  Compare Philemon 1:22–“Prepare me a lodging, for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given to you,” where the expectation seems even more immediate. The interval between the Letters is unknown. The  belief of Paul’s in his release, and subsequent re-imprisonment (resting on unvarying tradition, and on the evidence of the Pastoral Epistles), supposes this expectation to have been fulfilled in due time.

        IN {THE} LORD:  (Gr.-en Kuriōi)– Every mood of Paul’s inner life he desires to regulate by the mind and will of Christ.

“that I also myself”
Literally:  “that I myself also”–As well as Timothy.  He had previously suggested his persuasion of abiding with them, (1:25) and here he suggests that he might satisfy them that he had not changed his mind.

He adds for their comfort, that they might not be discouraged in their sufferings, what apprehensions he had, after a while, of being set at liberty (if God pleased); and if so, he would have them conceive, soon after he had done what was necessary at Rome, (for him who had care of all the churches), he planned to follow Timothy to them.

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