Colossians 4:7-18 Paul’s Support Team

by | Mar 31, 2023 | Colossians, New Testament

I. How They Were Known

A. Favorable

1. Vs. 7, 8- Tychicus- “Best Supporting Servant”

a. It seems that the Colossians did not know Tychicus, and so Paul introduces him to them through this letter. Tychicus is highly esteemed by Paul.

i. Probably the courier of this letter to the Colossians

ii. This is the kind of recommendation all of us would love to have.

iii. This kind of esteem in Christ is the result of a godly life.

b. Beloved brother- Tychicus did not take the easy way, but the right way.

i. It was costly, dangerous and difficult to be Paul’s companion.

ii. Tychicus had more than a sense of duty. He had agape love.

c. Faithful minister– “The greatest ability in the world is dependability”.

i. Tychicus was a tremendously valuable assistant to Paul, who was used to powerfully change the world for Christ.

ii. Maclaren-“how amazed Tychicus would have been if told that “these bits of parchment would outlast all the ostentatious pomp of the city, and that his name, because written in them, would be known to the end of time all over the world.”

iii. The letter that this faithful minister carried has been translated into over 2400 languages and read all over the world.

d. Fellow servant– speaks of fellowship, teamwork, togetherness

i. Some Christians prefer serving God alone & apart from others

ii. While that may be appropriate at times, one can err by not being mindful of the whole Body of Christ. Much is lost.

iii. In order to be all that God has called us to be, we need each other in an experiential way, not just in philosophical/theological way.

e. A comforter of hearts-also translated- to strengthen

2. V. 9- Onesimus-“ From Runaway Slave To Beloved Brother”

a. Onesimus- a runaway slave from Colossae.

i. A separate letter was carried to Philemon, who was from Colossae

ii. His owner was Philemon. A Christian slave owner.

iii. Onesimus ran away, sought freedom and new life in Rome.

iv. He stole from Philemon and then ran away.

v. He came in contact w/Paul became a Christian, & was changed

vi. He now willingly returns to Philemon to make things right

vii. The Book of Philemon tells that story.

viii. Onesimus also carried a letter that would span the globe.

b. Faithful -a thieving slave was just recently turned into a faithful man.

c. Beloved brother– Not just a “fellow soldier”, but now a beloved brother

i. Had Onesimus known “brotherhood” before?

ii. He now knew it in the deepest sense.

iii. The family of Christ

3. V. 10a- Aristarchus- “The Co-Sufferer”

a. He had traveled w/Paul during his 3rd missionary journey. Was with Paul when a riot occurred in Ephesus. (Acts 19:29; 20:4)

b. Fellow prisoner– one who was willing to suffer for Jesus

c. Not only a desire to share Christ, but when opposition came, Aristarchus didn’t quit serving Christ.

4. V. 10b-Mark- “From Failure To Favored”

a. Mark had traveled with Paul and Barnabus but had quit a missionary trip early & returned home.

b. In Acts 15, Barnabus had wanted to take Mark again, but Paul refused him to go. The contention was so great, that Paul & Barnabus separated.

c. Eventually, Paul & Mark reconciled, & Paul asked for him in 2 Timothy 4:11.

d. Mark went from failed missionary to Gospel writer. (Gospel of Mark)

5. V. 11-Jesus who is called Justus. “Honorable Mention”

6. Vs. 12, 13- Epaphras- “The Pray-er”

a. Laboring in prayer-Prayer is hard work. Purposeful work. Deliberate.

i. Laboring– heavy toil to the extent of pain

ii. “Perfect & complete”-

b. Great zeal-Epaphras prayed much because he cared much.

7. V. 14-Luke- “The Doctor”

a. Author of Gospel of Luke and Acts.

b. Regular traveling companion of Paul. Probably ministered as a doctor.

c. Paul suffered numerous beating and an eye disease. Luke was invaluable

d. Probably an “A” type personality. Not an poet, but a reporter. Needed.

8. V. 15- Churches met in homes

B. Unfavorable

1. V. 14b- Demas- “The Quitter”. Demas eventually abandoned Paul.

a. 2 Timothy 4:10 Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica

b. This was when Paul was again in jail in Rome and facing execution.

c. This lack of commendation may have been at the start of his backslide.

d. 1 John 2:15-17 15Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

II. Final Instructions

A. Read The Word V. 16

1. These particular letters were circular letters meant to be shared.

2. The church was to receive instruction in the truths of God

B. Exhort The Believers V. 17

1. Archippus- He was a Christian that had a clear calling on his life but needed to be reminded & exhorted to actually do what God had called him to.

2. Paul tells the churches to exhort Archippus to fulfill his calling. Good peer pressure.

3. “Many an Archippus is sluggish, because the Colossians are silent.” (Dyke)

C. Paul Asks To Be Remembered V. 18

1. Paul signs the letter. He had scribes write the letters because of his bad eyesight.

2. As Paul signed the letter, his chains probably got in the way.

3. He wishes them grace. God’s unmerited favor & divine friendship.