About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Chapter 4:7 - 18
Greetings (ch. 4:7-18)
Paulís closing remarks he tells the Colossians that he is sending
Tychicus to fill them in how he and his companions in the service of
Christ are doing. Paul does
not take the time in this letter to do that.
Thatís too bad. I
would have liked to have known more of the details of how Paul was
doing, but remember, writing letters back then was not as easy as it is
today for us.
says that Tychicus is a dear brother.
Paul's tender hearted emotion shows through in these words.
Tychicus is also a faithful minister and a servant.
The first century believers understood what many don't understand
today. We are all servants
of God. Church leaders are servants, caring for God's people.
They are not career orientated professionals.
I think it's important for us to note that Paul was
sending some of his helpers while he was in prison to the Colossian
community of believers. He
was giving up his own help for the sake of others.
This shows us the heart of a servant of the Lord.
see in verse 9 that Onesimus is going along withTychicus.
Onesimus was a slave that was on his way back to his master
Philemon. You can read a
little of his story in Paulís letter to Philemon. We
learn that Onesimus was a Colossian in this verse.
verse 10 we see that Paul was not the only one in prison.
He says that Aristarchus, "my fellow prisoner" sends
his greetings as well. Paul
was not the only first century believer who was imprisoned for his
association with Jesus. Many
believers were imprisoned and even put to death.
mentions Mark in verse 10 as well. It
appears that the Colossians knew about Mark and had certain instructions
concerning him if he were to come and visit them.
Here we learn that Mark was the cousin of Barnabas.
You may remember that Paul and Barnabas were sent out as apostles
verse 11 Paul makes mention that only a few Jews were with him.
I'm not sure how to take this.
It's almost seems that Paul is saying that many of the Jewish
believers might not have stood with him while in prison.
verse 12 we see Epaphras sending his greetings. Paul says that he was
one of the Colossians. Paul
also says that he wrestles in prayer for these believers. The
Greek word "ponos" is the word that is translated as
"wrestle" here. It
means "to contend or fight."
It's a present middle participle.
This tells us that within Epaphras was an internal fight going on
inside of him, as if he was fighting himself.
I suggest that this is serious prayer, something few of us
experience or even consider a valid expression of prayer.
As a youth I saw such prayer by my parent's generation but I've
seldom seen it sense. As
Paul says in verse 13, Epaphras is a head working sincere brother in the
verse 14 we learn that Luke, the author of the gospel of Luke and the
book of Acts is a doctor. I'm
sure that all of the trouble Paul went through he needed the assistance
of a doctor at times. We may
not think that such a great man of faith would ever need a doctor, but
think about it. When he was
whipped, someone would have to have cared for his torn skin.
Luke would have been that man, at least when he was with Paul.
He was not always with Paul as you can see when you read the book
Note in verse 15 that a lady named Nympha had what the NIV calls a church in her house. I prefer to say it this way. The community of believers in her vicinity gathered together in her home. The mere mention of this lady tells us that Paul viewed her as an important person in the local community of Christ. Was she a leader in this community of believers? We don't know that. Paul doesn't say. Paul believed that a woman should not have authority over a man, but women had important places in the Body of Christ. Her house had to have been large enough for a gathering of at least 30 to 35 people, which from some historical writings seems to be the number of people who might gather in such a house.
you are reading with various translations you will note a discrepancy
between translations. Some say that Nympha was a lady while other
translations say Nympah was a man. We should know that the name
Nympha is female while the name Nymphas is male. The male name
Nymphas can also be translated as "bridegroom." The
Greek manuscript has the female name Mympha in this sentence, not the
male name Mymphas. However, the problem arises concerning the
pronoun "her" in the NIV. The pronoun "her" is
translated from the Greek word "autos", meaning, he, him,
himself, or self. So, the pronoun "autos" is
confusing because it doesn't really match the female name Mnmpha, thus
the reason for the varying translations. Some translations
actually use the pronoun "their" instead of "him" or
16 is interesting. Paul
tells the readers to send this letter to Laodicea
after they have read it. I
guess Paul wants to get full use out of the things he writes.
tells the Colossians to read the letter
verse 17 Paul exhorts Archippus to finish the work he started.
We really donít know what this means, but we do know that Paul
was always thinking about the work of the Lord and doing it, until it
was completely finished. Paulís
motivation in life was to do the work of the Lord.
closes this letter by saying that he wrote the greeting part of this
letter in his own hand writing. The
greeting part of this letter would be from verse 7 to the end of the
letter. Paul didn't always
write these greetings. Paul
normally dictated his letters and sometimes he would write the greetings
with his own hand writing and sometimes he wouldn't.
Paul ends by saying, "remember my chains." One might possibly hear those chains clanging as he moved his hand across the page. "Grace be with you," Paul writes. I am sure that these closing words came from the depth of Paulís heart. He, more than most, understood the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in all of its fullness.
are two definitions of grace found in the Bible. The first is well
known. It's God's unmerited favour that He extends to us.
The other is less known. It's God's divine ability given to us to
do His will here on earth. I believe it is this second definition
that Paul might have been thinking of here. He certainly needed
God's divine ability. If this is not what he had in mind, the
first definition would also be appropriate. Paul would have felt
that his calling as an apostle was God's unmerited favour granted to
him. He did not feel he deserved to be used by God in such an
This ends one of Paul's letters. You see the heart of a man who was suffering much for his association with Jesus. Even in all of his suffering he was not thinking of himself. He was thinking of those Jesus had asked him to care for.