Saturday, 18 February 2017
I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Philippians 4:2
There was obviously a dissension in the church between these two women, Euodia and Syntyche. Nothing more is known about these ladies than that they were known by Paul personally, that they labored with him in the gospel, and that they were not in agreement over some particular issue. Speculation as to their position, if any, in the church is without merit.
Paul implores each of them individually – “I implore Euodia,” and “I implore Syntyche.” This is especially stated so that neither is elevated above the other as if one was in the wrong and Paul was siding with the other. It could be that either one, or both, were in the wrong. No matter what, Paul was not taking sides, but was simply asking them to drop their feud and “to be of the same mind.”
These words mean that they should be united in the cause and reconciled over what has divided them. And to solidify this, he adds “in the Lord.” They should not only be united, but united in Christ Jesus. If they both had their eyes, hearts, and affections on Him, then their petty differences would fade into the background.
It is of note that the verb which is translated as “to be of mind” is found 10 times in Philippians, more than any other book. Paul uses it only 23 times in all, and so almost one half of its uses are in this little epistle. There is a high stress on unity here.
As a note: The name here is Euodia, not Euodias as some versions incorrectly state. This is clearly a female as will be seen from verse 2. If your Bible says Euodias, you can pen in the correction.
Life application: Are you a divider or one who unites? And even if you are not a divider, are you caught up in a division? It is time to put the petty aside and strive forward with Christ as your only true passion. In so doing, all other things will find their proper place.
Lord God, help each of us to evaluate ourselves and to see if we are the cause of division or unity within Your church. And even if we are not the cause of division, maybe we are still caught up in something which has divided the body. Help us to be of one mind in the Lord, and to put away the petty differences which tear apart harmony and right order. May we fix our eyes on Jesus and determine in our heart to be a uniting part of His body. Amen.