Archive for January 18th, 2021

Colossians 4:7-18

In Colossians 4:7-18 Paul introduces the Colossian church to Tychicus who they apparently didn’t know, but would be the one who brought Paul’s letter to them. “Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord.” Tychicus was one of the men who came with Paul from the Roman province of Asia to Jerusalem, to carry the offering of those believers to the needy Christians of Jerusalem and Judea. Bruce reminds us “The reference to Tychicus is almost word for word identical with Ephesians 6:21-22. He was evidently the bearer of the letter to the Ephesians as well as this one.” So he was a trusted co-minister with Paul.

Paul sends Tychicus for one reason – to encourage them in their walk with Jesus. He also sent Onesimus who was a slave owned by a believer in Colosse, but had ran away and came into contact with Paul in Rome. There, Onesimus became a Christian and a dedicated helper to Paul. His story is continued in Paul’s letter to Philemon. “I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.” The mission was to update and encourage the church while reporting on Paul’s status.

Paul also lets them know there are others in prison with him for the sake of the gospel. “Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions— if he comes to you, welcome him),and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me.” They had accompanied Paul on various trips and ministry efforts and were also in chains along with him. Epaphras was a fellow minister filled with prayer for the Colossian church. “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.” We need to pray like that for our churches!

Paul shares many more greetings from other co-ministers of the gospel. “For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas.” And he wants the Colossians to share the words he has written with other believers in the area. “Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea.”

Paul charges the church to press Archippus to minister strongly and to encourage and strengthen him. “And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.” Dyke explains It was more fitting for the Colossians (or Laodiceans) to say this to Archippus than for Paul himself to say it to him. He needed to hear this from the people around him: “Fulfill your ministry.” When the Colossians spoke up, then Archippus knew his ministry was wanted. “Many an Archippus is sluggish, because the Colossians are silent.” We need to encourage our ministers to do the work of the gospel and support them in that effort. Paul wraps his letter this way: “I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.”

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