Useful Bible Studies > Philippians Commentary > chapter 2

Timothy’s visit to Philippi

Philippians 2:19

Paul was writing as a prisoner who might soon die as a punishment. His only crime was to declare the gospel, the message about Christ – if anyone can call that a crime. However Paul expected to live, because God still had work for Paul to do (1:24-26). So, Paul was making plans for the future.

When Paul knew the judge’s decision about him (2:23), Paul intended to send Timothy to Philippi. Paul says that he hoped to do this ‘in the Lord Jesus’. In other words, Timothy’s visit to the church at Philippi could only happen if Christ permitted it. So those words, ‘in the Lord Jesus’, show Paul’s belief that Christ is God. They express the thought that Christ has authority over all things.

Paul clearly cared very much about the Christians in Philippi. He wanted Timothy to report back to him about the situation of the Christians in that region. In particular, Paul wanted to know whether they were still standing together in their trust in God (1:27-28). Perhaps Timothy could report back by letter, or perhaps he would then travel back to meet with Paul. By that time, Paul hoped that he would be free again. So, he was praying that God would permit him too to travel to Philippi (2:24).

Paul expected that Timothy’s report about the Christians in Philippi would be good news. In fact, he was sure of it. God had begun a good work in their lives, and he would certainly complete that work (1:6). Paul expected God to answer both his prayers for them (1:7-11), and their prayers for him (1:19). They had many enemies (1:28); but Paul knew that God will always provide for his people (1:19).

Next part: Someone who truly cares about people (Philippians 2:20-21)


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