Paul Plans To Send Him Shortly - (series: Lessons on Philippians)

by John Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

Date: 10/8/18
Lesson #16

Title: Paul Plans To Send Him Shortly

Scripture: (Philippians 2:19, NIV)
(19) I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you.

Since Paul cannot go to Philippi himself, it is his intention to send Timothy as his representative. There was no one as close to him as Timothy was. We know very few details about Timothy but the record of his service with Paul shows his faithfulness.

We do not know how or when he was converted to Christianity, but on his second missionary journey Paul met him and saw in him one he could clearly use in the service of Jesus Christ. From that time on, Paul and Timothy were very close. Paul even spoke of him as his child in the Lord (1 Corinthians 4:17).

Timothy’s great value was that he was always willing to go anywhere; and in his hands a message was as safe as if Paul had delivered it himself. Others might be consumed with selfish ambition; but Timothy’s one desire was to serve Paul and Jesus Christ. He is the patron saint of all those who are quite content with second place, so long as they can serve.

Lesson #16
(19) I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you.

“I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon.” All his hoping is done in union with his living Lord. Timothy, when he returns from his proposed visit, will, Paul hopes, bring reassuring news from Philippi. Paul’s concern for the Philippian church is apparent not only in this epistle and in his desire to visit them personally, but in his announcement that in order to learn firsthand how they are getting along he is sending Timothy to them as his personal representative. It goes without saying that Timothy would also report how the Philippians had responded to Paul’s exhortations for unity. However, the coming of Timothy would be delayed until Paul learned the outcome of his trial; whether good or bad. He hoped it would be good news (2:23), so the Philippians could also have their fears relieved.

This verse shows that all his plans are made with him fully conscious of his union with the Lord Jesus and in humble dependence upon His will for him. The Christian is a part of Christ, a member of His body. His every thought and word and deed proceeds from Christ as the center of desire―what he wants, hopes for, longs for, and yearns for. Thus he loves in the Lord; he boasts in the Lord, he labors in the Lord, etc. He has one guiding principle in acting and in abstaining from acting; do it only in the Lord (1 Cor. 7:39).

He is sending this letter with Epaphroditus without waiting for the result of the trial (2:25), but as soon as the case is decided Timothy will follow with the News (2:23). Although Paul is prepared for an unfavorable verdict (2:17), he still hopes to be acquitted and released for further service (2:24).

“That I also may be cheered when I receive news about you.” Timothy had had a long and intimate relationship with this church (Acts 16:3; 17:14-15; 19:22; 20:3-4; Phil. 2:19-23), and, as second to Paul, was dearly loved by the Philippian Christians. Accordingly, he would be most acceptable as Paul’s representative. Timothy appears to be one of the apostle’s trustiest supporters, with a gift for “caring,” for Paul says, “I have no one like him, who will be genuinely anxious for your welfare” (2:20).

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