For the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life.
Was this an old witness of the faith? Yes, in so far as the report is almost 2,000 years old. But the Christian Epaphroditus, who is the one in question here, can certainly not have been an elderly man.
The fact that this servant of God risked his life in the service of his Lord makes one think. We find here an important consideration for people of our own day. Isn’t it common practice nowadays for people to be “stream-lined”? They adapt themselves to circumstances, feeling the tailwind behind them, and never go against the grain. There is a lack of people with backbone, who are true to the principles that were once regarded as correct. This lack is increasing constantly.
Now this Macedonian Epaphroditus appears on the scene from ancient times and gives us a sermon without words. It would be superficial just to assume that he stood up for some cause or other. He stood up for a person who deserved it: Jesus Christ, who had put Epaphroditus’ life on a completely fresh track, freed him from guilt and given him a peace of mind and heart that others can only dream of. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, had become the Lord of his life. For Him he was prepared to do anything, even at the risk of his life, if need be.
One can waste one’s time on an unworthy person, to be sure. But Epaphroditus had certainly not done that. Jesus Christ was his Saviour, who knew him, loved him, had taken him in hand and changed all for the better. His heart belonged henceforth to the Man of Calvary.
Image: By Raphael – Royal Collection of the United Kingdom, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1718078