God’s Word is full of people; after all, the Good book is all about His dealings with people.
Epaphroditus carried some provisions for Paul from some Christians in Philippy. He was like a brother; he was a co-worker and fellow-soldier to Paul (Phil. 4:18, 2:25).
‘Ordinary’ is a resented concept. What is the mindset behind class-caste discriminations in our society even among Christians? ‘Look, I am great – you are ordinary.’ Why are we touch-me-nots, recoiling at the smallest criticism? Everyone wants to be honoured. We have a pet name for that – ‘ego issues.’ Let’s face it – no-one wants to be treated ordinary. King Solomon bluntly remarks, “A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.” David is more sympathetic: “The Lord preserves the simple.”
Nevertheless, if we look around, things are a lot different. Sardines are very commonly found fish. But they are tasty and nutritious too. And in history: Who chased the British out of India? Gandhi and a few other leaders? No, it is the common people who came out in large numbers, ready to fill jails.
Ordinary people serving the Lord in their own corners are seen in every book of the Bible. What excites me is the scene in Syria – in leper Naaman’s house. A little Jewish girl, brought there as a slave, notices depression on the face of her mistress’ face. Her God, the creator of heaven and earth, could cure her master. She boldly confides this to her ma’am – lady Naaman. In a foreign land, a lonely little girl becomes God’s co-worker. Nothing more is heard about her.
Epaphroditus was Paul’s co-worker. Differences of opinion? Ofcourse, there were many. He was not just agreeing to disagree – that’s for the cut-throat competitive corporate world – but would honour Paul and would move on for the sake of his thorn-crowned Lord and His work. Like brother Lawrence later in Church history, he delighted to do His will.
On the other hand, are you extra-ordinary? Wealthy, talented, educated, influential? You’re most welcome in the Kingdom of God.
Once Dr. Sam Kamelesan spoke of a unique experience he had in one of his evangelistic campaigns in South India. Hearing him sing and preach, a rich young man from Chennai committed his life to the Lord. He told one of the volunteers of the convention that he had enjoyed every good thing in life but had felt a void within. Someone had brought him to the meeting and he had found peace and joy in Jesus. For the next few days’ meetings, he brought a bus full of his near and dear ones. The bus belonged to his dad. The extra-ordinary in action!
Did you know, the Gideons have kept Bibles even in the presidential palace in New Delhi?