Philippians 2:25-30 Epaphroditus.
The Philippians had expressed their concern for Paul by sending a messenger, Epaphroditus, to him. Whether Paul knew him before or not, Paul considered him to be a brother, fellow worker, and even a fellow soldier in the work of the gospel ministry. The terms used seem to suggest a progression from brother to one who shares in the work, to one who actually knows what it is like to be engaged in the battle (v. 25). Nevertheless, Paul wanted to return Epaphroditus, because the latter longed for the Philippians who had heard that he was sick (v. 26). Paul confirmed that he was indeed sick, near to death, but that God in his mercy spared him and Paul, who was also distressed at his condition (v. 27). Therefore sending him back would relieve everyone (v. 28). So, since this messenger had proven himself to be a fellow soldier, and laboured to the point of ill health, Paul commended him back to them as someone whom they should receive and hold in high esteem (vv. 29-30).