Colossians 4 Commentary

4:7-18 PERSONAL NEWS

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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