Main point summary
Paul sends Epaphroditus for their joy. So they should receive him as a joyous gift and recognize that he deserves honor for his mindset of humility that almost cost him his life for the sake of the work of Christ.
Ἀναγκαῖον δὲ ἡγησάμην Ἐπαφρόδιτον τὸν ἀδελφὸν καὶ συνεργὸν καὶ συστρατιώτην μου,
I have thought it necessary to send to you d Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and e fellow soldier,
ὑμῶν δὲ ἀπόστολον καὶ λειτουργὸν τῆς χρείας μου, πέμψαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς,
and your messenger and f minister to my need,
ἐπειδὴ ἐπιποθῶν ἦν πάντας ὑμᾶς
for he has been longing for you all
and has been distressed
διότι ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἠσθένησεν.
because you heard that he was ill.
καὶ γὰρ ἠσθένησεν παραπλήσιον θανάτῳ•
Indeed he was ill, near to death.
ἀλλʼ ὁ θεὸς ἠλέησεν αὐτόν,
But God had mercy on him,
οὐκ αὐτὸν δὲ μόνον
and not only on him
ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐμέ,
but on me also,
ἵνα μὴ λύπην ἐπὶ λύπην σχῶ.
lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
σπουδαιοτέρως οὖν ἔπεμψα αὐτόν,
I am the more eager to send him,
ἵνα ἰδόντες αὐτὸν πάλιν χαρῆτε κἀγὼ ἀλυπότερος ὦ.
therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious.
προσδέχεσθε οὖν αὐτὸν ἐν κυρίῳ μετὰ πάσης χαρᾶς
So g receive him in the Lord with all joy,
καὶ τοὺς τοιούτους ἐντίμους ἔχετε,
and h honor such men,
ὅτι διὰ τὸ ἔργον Χριστοῦ μέχρι θανάτου ἤγγισεν παραβολευσάμενος τῇ ψυχῇ,
for he nearly died i for the work of Christ, risking his life
ἵνα ἀναπληρώσῃ τὸ ὑμῶν ὑστέρημα τῆς πρός με λειτουργίας.
j to complete what was lacking in your service to me.
Paul sets forth Epaphroditus (along with Timothy) as a man who has the mindset of Jesus that Paul talked about earlier in chapter 2. Epaphroditus sacrifices himself for the Philippians and the work of Christ. He nearly dies but the Philippian church appears to be his main concern. In other words, having the mindset of Jesus (Philippians 2:5-11) looks like Epaphroditus.