Colossians 4:1-9 … The Word of God is filled with vital guidance and in these few verses, we have: first, a hierarchy in life; second, a channel of blessing in prayer including an opportunity for sharing, and finally a word of historical significance. The hierarchy of life is in 4:1. Here, we’d note that chapters and verses are helpful in a contemporary sense, but were added much later and are not part of the inspired text. What we call 4:1 is probably connected to the previous paragraph on work relationships. The hierarchy we mention is this: We are all subordinate to the Lord God and none should doubt that. Then, some are given authority over others; those are cautioned to exercise that responsibility with fairness and justice. Finally, and no less important, are those under authority (and nearly all are under someone’s authority), and they all have a responsibility to work “as working for the Lord” (Colossians 3:23). If we kept focus on God’s hierarchy for orderly administration, there would be real peace on earth!
Next in this very full passage, is a great word of instruction, applicable to all: to be alert in prayer and thanksgiving, and include in our prayers the petition that God would open up an opportunity for His Word … not only in Paul’s day, but in every time (4:5). We ought to pray for an opportunity to share Christ, and when we do so, that God would help us to speak as if we were offering food (spiritual food) generously and flavorfully seasoned according to each hearer. Consider that for a while, because it’s a great instruction … in your mind, compare unflavored and bland food with morsels that are irresistible.
Finally, a helpful historical note: the letter to the Colossians is to be carried by Tychicus and Onesimus, the latter a runaway slave that we’ll encounter in the wonderful little letter of Philemon.