Obscure Saints

I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier who is also your messenger and minister to my need. Philippians 2:25


Who is Epaphroditus? As we were discussing Philippians, one young woman queried, “I have heard of Paul and of Timothy but who was this guy?”

I was excited to hear her ask because Epaphroditus, known and loved by God, Paul and the Philippians, had a critical role to play as messenger and minister of the gospel, yet we learn very few of the details. I am encouraged to see his name right alongside the well-known men of faith, Paul and Timothy. It is a beautiful picture of how the body of Christ works together, some members highly visible and some nearly unseen, united in purpose so that Christ will be glorified. Paul’s praise of Epaphroditus reminds me that faithfulness, not prominence, is highly prized and precious to God.

I am privileged to know more than a few Epaprodituses, among whom I will call Debbie, Priscilla, June and Marie. Not many notice their faithful ministry or realize the extent which their love and prayers advance the gospel; but God takes note of every hidden word and deed. He is blessed and pleased because their quiet lives exhibit the sweet-smelling aroma of Christ.


Maybe you can relate to Epaphroditus, believing that you play a “minor” role in God’s kingdom purposes. Unlike the way the world values large scale performances, the Lord rejoices with every one of our unseen actions motivated by our love for Him. And after all, no matter how much worldly attention and recognition anyone receives, there is really only one who is worthy of honor and praise – Jesus.

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