Timothy followed the example of a trusted mentor who had sent him with a message and could be trusted to speak as a person who had the mind of Christ. Christ, as a servant, served God with “unparalleled humility, unreserved obedience and unquestioned victory.” He knew what He was sent to accomplish, and He did it completely. Devoted shepherds feed and protect those who are in their care. To have the mind of Christ is not impossible. The Lord said, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” The strength of character is associated with meekness, and lowliness of mind makes us approachable. These characteristics are needed in those who lead and love the Lord’s people.
Epaphroditus was a different kind of man than Timothy. His name links him to Aphrodite (to the Greeks, Venus to the Romans) the goddess. He had probably not come from a sheltered background like Timothy but a very ungodly background. To come from darkness to light and the power of Satan to God would have been very real and personal to this man. Paul refers to him as my brother, making reference to the same interests and same affections. He is also called “my fellow-laborer” which would tell us he was no by-stander to the work of the Lord, but was personally involved in it. As a fellow-soldier his commitment to the work indicates he was able to successfully engage in the conflict for the souls of men and the strengthening of saints. He was obviously a balanced Christian with a burden for the blessing of the people of God.