A friend in need is a friend indeed.” This is certainly true regarding Epaphroditus’s faithful service to Paul. While Paul was in prison for preaching the gospel, the church in Philippi sent Epaphroditus to him with a gift to help provide for his needs.
Epaphroditus faithfully delivered the gift to Paul, but he also became very ill—perhaps from the long journey—and almost died. Epaphroditus recovered, however, and Paul planned to send him back to the Philippians so that they no longer needed to be concerned for Epaphroditus’s health.
Paul commended Epaphroditus to them as a “brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier” who “almost died for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up for the help you could not give me” (Philippians 2:25, 30). He even encouraged the Philippians to “honor men like him” (Philippians 2:29).
Philippi was the first city in Europe where Paul planted a church.
On the Sabbath, he went to a nearby river to find a place of prayer, and he began to share the gospel with some women who had gathered there. One of the women who responded in faith was Lydia from the city of Thyatira in Asia Minor (Acts 16:12–14).
Given his warm words in his letter to the Philippians, Paul must have always had very favorable regard for the church in Philippi, and their gift to him while he was in prison reflects that the feeling must have been mutual.