Message Based Questions
7 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 co-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 and sisters 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 ministry you have received in the Lord.”
18 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
Recap: Jesus Knows Your Name
Perhaps one of the most difficult things people have faced over the last few months is a sense of isolation, or, anonymity. Does anyone even know who I am? Does anyone know where I am? Does anyone care about me? And those questions are certainly understandable and I have an answer – YES!
Here in Colossians chapter 4, Paul wraps up this great book; a book full of doctrine and theology and philosophy, with a list of names of people that we don’t know much about that have seemingly nothing to do with the rest of the book.Here in Colossians chapter 4, Paul wraps up this great book; a book full of doctrine and theology and philosophy, with a list of names of people that we don’t know much about that have seemingly nothing to do with the rest of the book.
So you can read this and wonder to yourself:
1. Should I just end with verse 6?
2. What is it Lord that you have to say here?
3. Lord, what do you want us to hear?
And the answer I get is this:
• Jesus knows your name.
• You are important to Him.
• He has a job for you that only you can do.
• And, you are critical to the ministry.
People are important to God. You are important to God.
1. Verses 7-8
Now Tychicus is actually named in 3 of Paul’s other letters: Ephesians, II Timothy and Titus. He is also mentioned in Acts 20.
What do we know about Tychicus? He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. It makes me wonder, would someone refer to me as a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord? How about you?
He is also a messenger as he is being sent so that they may know about Paul’s circumstances. But notice it isn’t a gloom and doom report as Paul says ‘and that he may encourage your hearts.’
I think it is a good idea for us to take a look at what people see in the things we talk about. God seems to make a point about people who are ‘encouragers.’
Love God, Love People, Love Life. Be an Encourager!
2. Verse 9
Onesimus was a runaway slave. In fact the book of Philemon was written to his former master requesting that he be received back not only in good standing but as a fellow brother in Christ.
He too is charged with sharing what is going on with Paul’s ministry. And notice here that Paul also refers Onesimus as not only a dear brother but a ‘faithful’ brother as well.
Faithful – having or showing true and constant support or loyalty (Webster)
Many of the people that God is bringing to MillCity right now have been hurt in the past by someone in the church. And I can tell you that I have witnessed a lot of bad behavior that goes on within the body.
People against people. Families against families. People against the pastor. The pastor against people. Pastor against Pastor.
I would suggest to you that much of that could be avoided if people were FAITHFUL.
Faithful to The Lord. Faithful to the body.
Here in this passage, as in many, these individuals are listed with their qualities and are mentioned with esteem. But there are also plenty of names in the bible that are not mentioned for being champions for God.
Be sure, your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23
The church does not belong to you or to me. It is, like I have mentioned about the family, an organism with organizational structure. There is a leader. There is leadership. If things are not going as you hope, it is not your battle to fight, it is the Lord’s. You need to trust Him and let Him fight His battles.
Your job is to be faithful to Him. And, for most of us, when it comes to this, we should be faithful to the church as ‘THE BODY OF CHRIST’ not the church ‘brick and mortar, four walls, etc.
3. Verses 10-11
Aristarchus is Paul’s fellow prisoner. He is found in the book of Acts 3 times, chapters 19, 20, and 27. Notice Aristarcus‘ sends you his greetings.’
And then there is Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.)
I want to make a point here. Back in Acts chapter 13, Paul and Barnabas are on their first missionary journey and Mark, also referred to as John Mark, deserted them and went back to Jerusalem. Now this ultimately became such a point of contention for Paul that it actually split a friendship (Acts 15).
But the point I want to make here is that clearly there was a softening to Paul later in life that he didn’t have in his early days.
II Timothy 4:11
Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.
I want to encourage those of you who have years on others. When you go the extra mile to reconcile a broken relationship, it can have an impact far beyond what you can imagine. Because John Mark, it is believed, is the Mark of the Gospel of Mark, which is also assumed to be Peter’s version of the Gospel and the first of the Gospels penned. And it is still being used to minister to people today.
4. Verses 12-14
Epaphras is mentioned first in Chapter 1 and it is assumed that he brought the Gospel to the Colossian people.
But also notice that he is an intercessor. He is always wrestling in prayer for you. And what is he wrestling for? That they would stand firm in the will of God, that they would mature and that they would live out their faith in confidence.
Epaphras is also a hard worker. Remember, a church that works is a church that works. The ministry
Luke is the writer of both the Gospel of Luke and Acts. Knowing he is a doctor, you can read Luke and Acts, and pick up that he is a detail guy, as a doctor should be. Some assume that, because of all the persecution Paul experienced, Luke was hugely important to Paul. And, if you think about it, what a great gift from God.
And shouldn’t we all think like that. God has put each and every one of us vocationally where we are to be the Hands and Feet of Jesus. We are, Christ’s Ambassador’s!
Luke, dedicated his life and his skills to the service of the Lord. And both books serve as amazing tools for the Gospel of Jesus Christ 2000 years later.
Demas’ story, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same ending. Demas is mentioned 3 times in the bible and in all three he is listed with Mark and Luke. This time in Colossians, again in Philemon and take a look at II Timothy:
II Timothy 4:10. Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica.
Listen, you must be on your guard at all times. Remember, the devil prowls around like a lion looking for someone to devour. We say all the time that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. There is nothing you can do to earn it and nothing you can do to lose it.
But I believe you can ‘give it back.’ And that is exactly what apparently happened to Demas.
This man lived and ministered with Paul. The Apostle Paul!! And clearly he spent some time with Paul and his team. And not just Paul, John Mark and Luke as well and they wrote 2 of the 4 Gospels.
Heed this warning. It doesn’t matter where you go to church, how committed to Christ your friends are or from what family you come from. You must have your own relationship with Jesus. And you must cultivate it yourself. You must grow and mature in that relationship for the rest of your life.
Would anyone refer to you as a dear brother/sister? A faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord?
Who and why?
Paul calls Onesimus “faithful”.
What does it mean to be faithful to the “Church”?
How many in here have firsthand experience with a church split?
How many of those ended well? How many lives were changed for the better vs. soured toward church?
What was your reaction to hearing about Demas and then finding out he fell away from the Lord?