Colossians 4:10-18 … Our main glimpses in the closing verses of Colossians are historical and biographical. Several companions and fellow workers of Paul are mentioned: Aristarchus (v.10) was a companion on the third missionary journey. Barnabas’ cousin Mark (v.10) is John Mark, who displayed some youthful immaturity on the first missionary journey, but later was a disciple of Peter (who called him “my son,” referring to his spiritual attachment) and was fully reconciled to Paul here and later. Mark is also the author of the Gospel of Mark where maturity, intelligence and drive are evident characteristics. Epaphras (v.12) was pastor to the church in Colossians and was previously mentioned in Colossians 1:7. The tri-city area of Colossae, Laodicea and Hierapolis in central Phyrgia (Turkey) were close to each other. Apparently Epaphras ministered in some way to all three locations. Luke (v.14) is of course the inspired human author of the Gospel of Luke as well as the book of Acts and is the dear and glorious physician of literary history. Archippus (v.17) is also named in the letter to Philemon and is mentioned here for encouragement in his calling. We should note spiritual characteristics in these saints … encouragement (v.11) … laboring earnestly in prayer (v.12) … a deep concern for churches (v.13) … house churches (v.15) … and exchanging letters among the churches like encyclicals (v.16). Even in the historical closing there are spiritual and lifestyle examples for all.
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