How would you have liked to been named Epaphroditis? A lot of folks name their children after Biblical characters, but I have never heard one named after him. Have you?
There is not a whole lot in the Scriptures about the man. But what it does say about him speaks volumes to us today. Paul speaks to him as a brother in the Lord. That’s a good place to start. The man has a relationship with God.
Secondly he calls him a fellow worker. Well there are certainly various degrees of workers out there – Right? What kind of worker was he? He was the kind of worker that was willing to travel about 600 miles to minister to the apostle and it was not a two hour airplane ride! Furthermore, he was willing to disregard his life for the work of Christ! The words in Scripture say, “not regarding his life” which was a gambler’s term meaning ‘to throw down a stake’. He wasn’t gambling with his life, but the idea is that he was willing to do for Christ whatever it took to further the gospel and if his life was endangered, so be it.
Thirdly Paul calls him a fellow soldier. A good soldier does what his commander commands him to do. He was marching to the order of his King… Jesus, “Go you therefore and make disciples.” If there was conflict and opposition as a soldier certainly he dealt with that. In fact he almost died from the trip for “he was sick almost unto death.” Yet he willingly went back to them to encourage them until Paul could make it.
So I ask, are you a brother/sister in the Lord? As a believer what kind of worker are you? What kind of soldier are you? Have you gone AWOL? Or are you marching to the orders of the KING?
Epaphroditis literally meant, ‘devoted to Venus’. That’s the transformation that took place in him. He went from ‘devoted to Venus’ to being ‘devoted to Jesus’! Who or what are you devoting your life to?