I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.
I. THE TRANSCENDENT IMPORTANCE OF THE GRACE OF LOVE.
1. It is the evidence of our standing fast in the Lord. God is love, and to be without love is to be without God. Serious differences among Christians display the lack of it. Where Christians are unanimous the Church is invincible; where divided the Church falls to pieces.
2. The law of love was laid down by Christ — "A new commandment give I unto you," etc. Complete attainment is perhaps scarcely attainable here; but a drop may be kindred to the ocean.
3. To the cultivation of this love the greatest importance is attached. "We know that we have passed from death unto life," etc. "By this shall ell men know that ye are My disciples," etc. The observers of the early disciples said, "How they love one another."
II. THE DISSENTION BETWEEN EUODIAS AND SYNTYCHE.
1. Its ground is not mentioned. Perhaps it was something altogether frivolous, for even mature Christians act sometimes like silly children. Perhaps, however, seeing that they were both active they differed about the best modes of carrying on the Lord's work. When people are doing a great work enthusiasm often engenders impatience, and words are uttered that are regretted afterwards.
2. Whatever the ground of their dissention, their wise friend Paul had only one advice to give, "Be of the same mind." This did not mean "have the same views." "In the Lord" suggests remembrance of the important matters on which they were agreed — how utterly unsuited quarrelling or coldness was for those who were united "in the Lord." Christians should agree to differ, and follow out their separate views lovingly and with mutual helpfulness. As there were at first Peter, John, Thomas, Martha, Mary, so there ever will be. Let us imitate the tolerance and catholicity of Christ.
3. Mark the mode of Paul's interference.
(1) He makes not the slightest reference to the cause of dissention. In most cases reconciliation is more likely to be effected by letting the matter sleep and die.
(2) From his apostleship and relations with the Philippians he might have been "much bold in Christ to enjoin them that which was convenient; yet for love's sake he rather beseeches them."(3) He beseeches them separately, and treats them with exactly the same consideration.
(4) He calls in a common friend to help them to a reconciliation (ver. 3), a thoroughly discreet friend of both could do not a little to smooth the way. This is a form of delicate work, and is often shunned; yet none more likely to produce blessed results.
(R. Johnstone, LL. B.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.