By Jack Eberle
There are words that stand out in Scriptures as they speak of those involved very clearly. This word, spudazo and forms of it, are generally positive. That is, they reflect positively on those directly involved.
Probably, the best known use of this word is found in II Timothy 2:15. The great and busy apostle, Paul, could very well be known as the apostle of “diligence”. II Timothy 2:15 states “‘spoudazo’ to show yourselves approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth”. The true rendering is, “Be diligent to show…” It plainly indicates an attitude of getting down to business, perhaps with no fooling around. This is the perfect beginning to understanding this word of God. Another comparable passage is found in Eph. 4:3. Here once again, the best rendering is, “Be diligent to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.” There is nothing “creative” in the word. It speaks of preserving, of keeping what is already there. Actually, the form of the word found there is spoudazontes. We have another interesting situation concerning another form, spoudaioteros in II Tim. 1:17. Paul was in bonds in Rome waiting for a trial. Onesiphorus, the servant of Philemon (of the letter) had escaped, or somehow contrived to visit Paul. Paul writes his friend and fellow-believer. II Tim. 1:17 states that “Onesiphorus diligently sought and found Paul.” The form is spoudaiose. This escapee found ultimate freedom in Christ. Paul intercedes with his friend Philemon on Onesiphorus’s behalf.
In Titus 3:13, we see that “ Zenas, the lawyer and Appollos diligently (spoudaiose) put forward so that nothing to them may be lacking.” Apparently they were working on Paul’s behalf and are bringing to him certain items that he may have been lacking. They weren’t wasting any time. Obviously, it was decided that these two men would be entrusted with this super important responsibility.
Epaphroditus, one of the beloved and faithful friends, a co-worker of Paul, thinks of the concerns of the saints. Therefore, he desires to send him to Phillipi for his fellow-believers to rejoice and be relieved in heart. You see Paul’s thoughtfulness here. The urgency is partly exuberance for Epaphroditus’s recovery and concern for the brethren’s anxious caring. How they would rejoice and be relieved of their worry!
In Moulton and Milligan’s renowned work on the vocabulary of the New Greek Testament, the Greek word should be spoudaiopterose which means “with the utmost diligence”. Serious study and meditation therefore in the Word will indicate that Epaphroditus was one of the believers who put his life on the line for his fellow believer.
The word spoudazo and forms as you can see, is a key word used strategically in the Body Epistles. God’s Word and “words” are precious and precise. (See Psalm12:6.)