Paul loved the Philippians and wanted to do more than just write them letters. But could not visit them as he wrote this letter from prison. Instead, he would send Timothy, his spiritual son and partner in ministry….
“I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will also come.”
The father-son ministry model had now become more of a partnership. Paul was sending Timothy and this was not second best. Even as he began to pen this letter, Paul clearly shared that he and Timothy were a team…
“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:”
Before he sent Timothy, Paul wanted the church at Philippi to know the elevated stature of Timothy. This was no longer the apostolic ministry of Paul, but rather the team ministry of Paul and Timothy. Paul was intentional to play down the superstar status that some attempted to give him. Instead, he was intentional to elevate his protege and create a new equal footing for the ministry moving forward.
*Reflection. In what ways can I remove myself from any sort of spotlight and elevate others?