19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition. 20 For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus. 22 But you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father. 23 Therefore I hope to send him immediately, as soon as I see how things go with me; 24 and I trust in the Lord that I myself also will be coming shortly (Philippians 2).
This is no doubt one of the most puzzling pericopes I’ve ever read. I think of all the faithful people who surrounded Paul, and yet he indicts most all of them for seeking “their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus,” and says that Timothy is the only one “of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned.” Really? And then, as we will see, in the next breath, and with glowing endorsement, Paul announces he is sending Epaphroditus.
After 30 minutes of cerebral exercise I’m still sitting here trying to figure this one out — and I just cannot. I’m completely stumped, and for the moment at least, the Spirit of God seems to be satisfied in keeping me that way. So, here’s my thought for today: it’s OK. I don’t have to understand everything I read in the Bible. Perhaps one of you will see it clearly and teach me, which would be welcome instruction. Or, perhaps it will come to me later. So, in the meantime, I will simply move on to whatever does seem clear to me from this passage, which is: Timothy was indeed very special to Paul, and in his mind and heart, there was just no one else quite like him. Kindred spirits are indeed rare, and not to be taken for granted. And this is a good enough lesson for me this morning.
Thank You for kindred spirits, Lord. May they, along for our appreciation of them, increase. Help us This Day to be on the lookout for any new ones. Amen.