Colossians 4 Commentary


Tychicus, who carried Paul’s letter to Colossae, had the additional duty of telling the church how Paul was faring in his imprisonment. One person who accompanied Tychicus was Onesimus, a slave from Colossae who had escaped to Rome, met Paul and become a Christian. Paul wanted the Colossians to welcome Onesimus as part of the church (7-9). (Paul also wanted Onesimus’s master, Philemon, to welcome him home and forgive him; Philem 10-20.)

With Paul during his imprisonment in Rome were three Jewish Christians: Aristarchus, who had travelled with him on the adventurous sea voyage from Palestine (see Acts 27:1-2); Mark, who had once helped him in the gospel and who was likely to visit Colossae soon (see Acts 12:25; 13:5,13; 14:36-39); and Jesus Justus (10-11).

Three other people with Paul were Gentiles: Epaphras, who had worked faithfully and prayerfully in and around Colossae (see 1:7); Luke, the writer of one Gospel and Acts, who also had travelled with Paul from Palestine to Rome (see Acts 27:1-2; 28:16); and Demas, who later deserted him (see 2 Tim 4:10) (12-14).

Paul also sends greetings to the church in the neighbouring town of Laodicea. The church there had likewise received a letter from Paul, and he asks that the Colossian and Laodicean churches exchange letters so that both may receive additional teaching (15-16). In closing, Paul encourages Archippus to carry out his work for God faithfully, and reminds the Colossians that he is still imprisoned and he needs their prayers (17-18).

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