The Stories Behind the Names-Colossians 4:7-17

Colossians 4:7-17 “Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. 8 I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. 9 He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here. 10 My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) 11 Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. 13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14 Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. 16 After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea. 17 Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord.”

Colossesi 4:7-17 “Tutto ciò che mi riguarda ve lo farà sapere Tichico, il caro fratello e fedele servitore, mio compagno di servizio nel Signore. 8 Ve l’ho mandato appunto perché conosciate la nostra situazione ed egli consoli i vostri cuori; 9 e con lui ho mandato il fedele e caro fratello Onesimo, che è dei vostri. Essi vi faranno sapere tutto ciò che accade qui.10 Vi salutano Aristarco, mio compagno di prigionia, Marco, il cugino di Barnaba (a proposito del quale avete ricevuto istruzioni; se viene da voi, accoglietelo), 11 e Gesù, detto Giusto. Questi provengono dai circoncisi, e sono gli unici che collaborano con me per il regno di Dio, e che mi sono stati di conforto. 12 Vi saluta Epafra, che è dei vostri ed è servo di Cristo {Gesù}. Egli lotta sempre per voi nelle sue preghiere perché stiate saldi, come uomini compiuti, completamente disposti a fare la volontà di Dio. 13 Infatti gli rendo testimonianza che si dà molta pena per voi, per quelli di Laodicea e per quelli di Ierapoli. 14 Vi salutano Luca, il caro medico, e Dema.15 Salutate i fratelli che sono a Laodicea, Ninfa e la chiesa che è in casa sua. 16 Quando questa lettera sarà stata letta da voi, fate che sia letta anche nella chiesa dei Laodicesi, e leggete anche voi quella che vi sarà mandata da Laodicea. 17 Dite ad Archippo: «Bada al servizio che hai ricevuto nel Signore, per compierlo bene».


     Paul was a great apostle but he couldn’t have accomplished all that he did without the divine hand of God upon him and also a great company of leaders that arose from his church planting efforts. At the end of writing Colossians, Paul knew it was important to recognize and encourage those who would continue the work of the ministry. Don’t ever think that a list of names in the Bible has no real significance to our devotional reading. The names listed here and their descriptions are worth our attention! Tychicus and Onesimus, leaders in the Colossian church, were called dear brothers and faithful servants. This is the same Onesimus who was talked about in the book of Philemon. Aristarchus, on the third missionary journey, was arrested with Paul. Mark served Paul on the first missionary journey. Justus was also mentioned in this list of Jewish converts and Paul says they all were a comfort to him. The word translated “comfort” is different from the normal word for comfort. It only appears here in the New Testament and has the meaning of someone who provides relief.

Epaphras was a Colossian and a fervent man of prayer. Luke, also a traveler with Paul, wrote the books of Luke and Acts. Then we hear the sad account of Demas. This man had been loyal to Paul but defected because “he loved this world” (2 Timothy 4:10). Finally, Paul mentions three groups: the Laodicean church, Nympha, who had a church in her house and Archippus, a leader in the Colossian church who was encouraged to complete the work of the Lord there.

     Paul was grateful for the co-laborers that God had given him and wanted the Colossian church to know how important they were to the work of God. We as well need to give thanks to God for the people of faith who are there to give us encouragement, prayer and comfort.

Pray with me: Lord, I know that You have given me others in the faith that are there to help build up my faith. Help me to appreciate their contribution to my spiritual life.

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