All the Women of the Bible - Sunday, December 1, 2013
The Woman Who Fell Out With Her Friend
Name Meaning—Euodias is actually a man’s name. Euodia is its right form here (Philippians 4:2, rv). Euodias means “prosperous journey”—Euodia, “fragrant.” Wilkinson has the note, “Euodia is ‘a good journey,’ and was used in the colloquial Attic Greek as the French use the expression bon voyage.” Euodia is coupled with another female, Syntyche, and both may have been among the women who resorted to prayer at the river bank (Acts 16:13-15), and among the honorable women who believed (Acts 17:12). Scripture is silent on the genealogy and family association of these two women who, after their conversion became colaborers with Paul in the Gospel (Philippians 4:3). Belonging to a class bespeaking prosperity they doubtless ministered unto Paul of their substances.
At Philippi women were the first hearers of the Gospel and Lydia the first convert. If Euodias and Syntyche were also brought to the Lord there, they naturally took a leading part in teaching the Gospel to other women in a private sphere of labor once the Church had been formed there (1 Timothy 2:11, 12).
When Paul exhorted these two prominent workers to “be of the same mind in the Lord,” he implied that they had been previously at variance. What caused the breach between these two deaconesses in the Philippian Church we are not told. Perhaps one had a more dominant personality than the other and received more attention. Whatever the dispute was, it became serious and hindered the work of the Lord, so Paul besought the two women to give up their differences and live at peace in the Lord. The lack of harmony between Euodias and Syntyche disturbed the Apostle, so he urged a reconciliation, for as those professing to be redeemed their whole life should be lived in peace and in an endeavor to please Him who had saved them.
A humorist has suggested that because of the strife between these sisters in Christ they should have been called Odious and Soon-touchy. It was sad that there was this difference of opinion, and more tragic still that divisions have kept Christians apart all down the ages. “How can two walk together except they be agreed?” is an old adage we have lost sight of. We like to believe that Paul did not plead in vain, and that Euodias and Syntyche were completely reconciled and went on unitedly to serve the God of peace. Is there any need of such a reconciliation in your life as a Christian? If so, for the sake of your own peace of heart and your influence in the world, go out and put wrong things right.
Devotional content drawn from All the Women of the Bible by Herbert Lockyer. Used with permission.