“I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord. Indeed, true companion, I ask you also, help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel…”
There are several things to draw from this passage.
- Good, experienced, kingdom-minded people have conflicts. Euodia & Syntyche, ‘shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel.’
- Both sides need to work on the problem, “I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche.”
- ‘Live in harmony’ literally means, ‘be of the same mind.’ Actions flow from how you think. The ‘father of lies’ (Jn.8:44) constantly tries to change our minds about God, our brother/sister, our calling, our rights, our response, etc. This requires a never-ending, ‘renewing of the mind’ (Rom. 12:2).
- ‘True companion’ literally means, ‘yokefellow.’ The imagery is two powerful servants (oxen) bound together for the purpose of sharing strength to move a heavy load to an ordained destination. The clear implication is, ‘better together’ when they move in harmony. Paul requests the church in Philippi that is yoked to him (he is addressing his, true companion) to assist the two sisters yoked to each other and, equally important, yoked to the rest of the Body.
- ‘Help these women’ literally means, ‘help these women.’ Cain’s question, “Am I my brother’s keeper” (Gen 4:9) gets a resounding, “Yes” in the Body of Christ.
The Discover Bible Study (DBS) which will mature into a fellowship of Christ-followers is the building block of eventual movements. The essential nature of the group is to get, ‘better together’ not through accountability (police work) but through empowerment (“how can I help you be who you want to be?”). Being voluntarily ‘yoked’ means, ‘all in’ on everything together. When ‘pulling together,’ isn’t working, ‘renewing the mind’ with a commitment to obedience is the antidote. And the questions, “What does the passage mean?” and “What will you do?” asked by those yoked with us is what allows us to ‘live in harmony’ in the long journey we share together.