By Graeme Tearle
As is common in Paul’s letters, the closing paragraphs send greetings, commendations, and final instructions are of a personal nature to the recipients.
In this passage we gain some insights into the people around him, and their motivations for their service to the Lord.
The church is the body of Christ, with various members, each having various parts and roles to play.
Here in this list of Paul’s associates he gives endorsements and appreciations of their service in the Lord along with him:
We first meet Tychicus in Acts 20v4. He went with Paul from Asia to Jerusalem, with the aid of money for the Jewish Christians.
He is given three endorsements here:
He delivered this letter, and the one to Ephesus, Eph.6v21, along with news from Paul.
He was the runaway slave from Philemon, who was converted through Paul in Rome.
See the story in the letter to Philemon.
Also referred to now as a beloved brother.
Fellow prisoner. He suffered with Paul in the riot in Ephesus in Acts 19v29.
He also accompanied Paul to Jerusalem with the aid, Acts 20v4. He went with Paul on the journey to Rome, Acts 27v2; possibly he had actually enrolled himself as Paul’s slave in order to stay with him during his imprisonment. This was allowed in Roman law at the time.
The cousin of Barnabas, accompanied him and Paul in Acts 13v5, but pulled out later in Acts 13v13. Rejected by Paul in Acts 15v36-40; later he obviously matured and now is commended for his presence. These words will give reassurance to the receivers of the letter about Mark’s usefulness.
5. Jesus, called Justus.
Nothing else is known of this man.
We first meet Epaphras in ch.1v7. He apparently was the person who founded the church at Colossae, and by inference Laodicea and Hierapolis as well.
And obviously had joined in support for Paul in prison in Rome at this stage.
Paul’s endorsements for him are fivefold:
Luke stayed with Paul to the end, 2 Tim.4v11; and what better reference can Paul give to him than “the beloved physician?”
Referred to a ‘fellow laborer’ in Philemon v24 at this time, but alas, later, a deserter in 2 Tim.4v10.
Colossians : Points to Ponder.
Observe: The commitments and qualities of these various Christians in their support for Paul, and service to Christ. Some were there consistently to the end, one left, one left but came back.