Friday, 10 March 2017
All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar’s household. Philippians 4:22
“All the saints” seems to show that “brethren” of the previous verse are those who were with Paul more directly. The others, being referred to as “all the saints,” are those who were found throughout Rome. They, either personally, or by representative coming to visit Paul, had asked to be remembered to the Philippians when he hailed them in this letter.
He goes on to say though, “but especially those who are of Caesar’s household.” This is a term which included all levels within Nero’s scope of influence, from the lowest slave or freedman even to the highest official. The term “Caesar” is an appellation applied to the office, just as Pharaoh was ascribed to the ruler of Egypt. Thus it speaks of whoever is in the office at the time, which during the time of Paul’s letter was Nero.
It is debated why Paul would single these people out, but it may be that it is showing those in Philippi that even the very halls of power were being converted to Christ. If those in such a high place had bowed the knee to Christ, then it was a warm assurance that this life truly means far less than what lies ahead. The place of wealth, power, and pomp was considered as of less importance than that house which is being prepared for those who wait patiently on the Lord.
It can even be deduced that Paul’s chains, as are noted in verse 1:13, were to be preferred above anything that this world could offer, even in the highest place of the Roman Empire.
Life application: There have been many powerful people in church history who have willingly bowed the knee to Christ Jesus. As Isaiah prophesied so long ago, “Kings shall shut their mouths at him.” It is the highest honor of all to be called a Christian, and therefore, we should never feel that our personal state – whether rich or poor, popular or not, or any other worldly distinction – is a reason to be exalted or humiliated. When we have Christ, we are the most blessed of all.
Lord God, there is no greater honor to be found than to bear the title of a follower of Christ. Whether a president, a movie star, or a janitor, all are on an equal level before the matchless King. Whether we have much or little, we who are in Christ are the fullest of all, even to overflowing, because of the abundance He provides. Let us never be ashamed of our worldly position, but let us glory in our state which is derived from being called a Christian. Thank God for Jesus Christ who exalts the lowly and who brings us into favor with the Father. Amen.