For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. (ESV)
In the last few verses the Apostle Paul has elaborated on how faithful a servant Timothy was. He is going to send him to the church at Philippi to be an encouragement to the people there. Timothy was a young man whom Paul had mentored. Timothy had the same passion for the work of the Gospel that Paul had. Sadly, not everyone who knew Paul acted like Timothy.
Paul says that there were others who, instead of being a help to him in his time of persecution and imprisonment, were seeking their own interests. They might be able to help if there was something in it for them. But Paul did not make them look good. After all, what if your ministry was to help someone who was in a prison cell? Not good for the resume, I suppose.
I would like to say that the ones whom Paul is referring to are non-believers. I would like to say that these self-seekers had nothing to do with the Church. I would very much like to say that these who betrayed Paul in his time of need had never heard the Gospel. I fear the worst. I believe Paul is talking about those who claimed to be Christians, yet placed themselves first, God's people second.
I imagine that these unnamed persons heard about Paul's letter to the church at Philippi. I suspect that they knew who Paul was talking about. How shameful. Here we are two thousand years later and in many of our churches we have people who would support their pastor, but only if they get their way in the church budget. They would support a new missions work if they get a plaque in their honor for financially supporting it. Some would help the homeless, but make sure there are no cameras around.
So many seek their own interests. Many are in the church. Don't be a part of the many. Be one of the few who places Jesus Christ first.