The last chapter of Paul’s letter to the Colossians reads like a roll call of saints. (Not Catholic saints, but believers who were working for God.) All of Paul’s writings in the New Testament are letters. Even though Paul didn’t start the church in Colossae, nor did he ever visit there, he addresses them, personally, as brothers and sisters in Christ. This is showing that all we believers are connected by the Holy Spirit.
Colossians Chapter 4
Masters, be just and fair to your slaves. Remember that you also have a Master—in heaven.
An Encouragement for Prayer
2 Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. 3 Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. 4 Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.
5 Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.
Paul’s Final Instructions and Greetings
7 Tychicus will give you a full report about how I am getting along. He is a beloved brother and faithful helper who serves with me in the Lord’s work. 8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose—to let you know how we are doing and to encourage you. 9 I am also sending Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, one of your own people. He and Tychicus will tell you everything that’s happening here.
10 Aristarchus, who is in prison with me, sends you his greetings, and so does Mark, Barnabas’s cousin. As you were instructed before, make Mark welcome if he comes your way. 11 Jesus (the one we call Justus) also sends his greetings. These are the only Jewish believers among my co-workers; they are working with me here for the Kingdom of God. And what a comfort they have been!
12 Epaphras, a member of your own fellowship and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings. He always prays earnestly for you, asking God to make you strong and perfect, fully confident that you are following the whole will of God. 13 I can assure you that he prays hard for you and also for the believers in Laodicea and Hierapolis.
14 Luke, the beloved doctor, sends his greetings, and so does Demas. 15 Please give my greetings to our brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church that meets in her house.
16 After you have read this letter, pass it on to the church at Laodicea so they can read it, too. And you should read the letter I wrote to them.
17 And say to Archippus, “Be sure to carry out the ministry the Lord gave you.”
18 HERE IS MY GREETING IN MY OWN HANDWRITING—PAUL.
Remember my chains.
May God’s grace be with you.
Comments on Chapter 4
Paul wrote this letter from his prison cell in Rome. He’s giving them advice and encouragement especially when dealing with non-believers. He tells them to pray “with an alert mind and a thankful heart.” Furthermore, he asks for prayers for himself that he will have many opportunities to speak of the Good News of Jesus Christ — which is why he’s in chains. Now, that’s devotion. If you want to read his story of how he got there. Check out the book of Acts.
Paul is apparently sending the letter with Tychicus and Onesimus. Moreover, he instructs them to share it with the church in Laodicea. That’s how the Gospel spread in the first century. The Roman roads as well as the shipping industry allowed these letters to be shared from church to church. Someone would copy it and then send the copies to the other churches.
He reads off greetings from Aristarchus, who was in prison with him. Mark, Justus, Luke, Demas and Epaphras were visiting. Yes, those are Mark and Luke, the gospel writers. Paul also mentions Nympha, a lady who has a church in her house! That’s where most of the churches met — in peoples’ homes.
At the end, he sends encouragement to Archippus and a final, personal message — “Remember my chains.” He mentions his chains at the beginning of the chapter and at the end. Why do you think he does that? We’ll answer this as we go through Paul’s other letters.
Notice, who’s missing from this list of “saints” — Peter. More than likely, Peter, at this time, was in Antioch, because he was bishop there for a while. Read all about Peter here.
My favorite verse from this chapter is 4:
Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.
It’s a shame that the church, as it grew and its leaders became more power-hungry and greedy, that they lost the zeal to “proclaim the message as clearly” as possible like Paul said. Maybe if they would have translated the Bible earlier into the common languages, things may have been different. The lesson here is to…
Read the Bible
Seek the Truth
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.”2 Timothy 3:16 NLT
And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.Matthew 24:14 NLT
Jesus is coming back soon! Are you ready?
Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be the Glory!