Euodia and Syntyche —The best of them!

Euodia and Syntyche —The best of them!

Just as Jesus would not countenance doubt among his disciples, Paul would not countenance division in the churches. His words were characteristically strong on the subject and he named names.In Philippians 4:2-3 Paul speaks to two hard working sisters in the Lord who are not getting on. Their stature in the congregation was such that Paul saw fit to write down what everyone knew but no one seemed able to do anything about; their disharmony was affecting the church.His first effort at reconciliation was to address them both equally: “I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche” (v.2a). There is no sense of one needing to do more or less than the other. Both were urged to sort their differences out.Secondly, Paul’s aim was true and lasting reconciliation. The wellspring of harmony in the church has but one source: Jesus Christ. So, it was imperative that he told them “to agree with each other in the Lord” (v.2b). Agreeing to disagree on matters of faith is nowhere to be found “in the Lord.”Finally, Paul appeals to a brother to “help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel” (v.3b). The brother is to make sure that these sisters carry on their good work by ‘speaking the same things in the Lord.’ He is accountable for making them accountable.Euodia and Syntyche were Kingdom workers. They were sisters who got-out-there-and-did-it. Hardly of wall-flower disposition. They had to have been strong women with strong personalities. And since Paul held them in high regard, many others would have also. Disagreement between such sisters couldn’t go unnoticed and couldn’t be without affect in the congregation. Paul is appealing to the best of them, knowing that he is dealing with the best of them. (johnstaiger1@gmail.com)

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