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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Colossians 4

Verses 1-6

Life in the home and in society (3:18-4:6)

Harmony in the home depends on the husband’s showing understanding love to his wife, and the wife’s showing loyal submission to her husband (18-19). Children are to be obedient to their parents, but parents must treat their children with understanding and not be harsh or unreasonable (20-21). When slaves work for their masters as if they were working for the Lord Christ, they will produce work of good quality. Masters, on their part, must reward their slaves fairly, knowing that they too have a master, God, and he will treat them as they treat others (22-4:1).
Christians must be regular and persistent in prayer. They must keep alert as they pray, for they can be easily distracted (2). They should specifically pray for the servants of God with whom they are partners in the gospel, that God’s messengers may have opportunities to make known his message, and that they may do so clearly (3-4). Besides praying for the activity of others, Christians should be careful of their own conduct, and make sure their speech is pleasant to listen to and sensible. In this way they will attract, and not repel, those who are not believers (5-6).

Verses 7-18


Tychicus, who carried Paul’s letter to Colossae, had the additional duty of telling the church how Paul was faring in his imprisonment. One person who accompanied Tychicus was Onesimus, a slave from Colossae who had escaped to Rome, met Paul and become a Christian. Paul wanted the Colossians to welcome Onesimus as part of the church (7-9). (Paul also wanted Onesimus’s master, Philemon, to welcome him home and forgive him; Philemon 1:10-20.)

With Paul during his imprisonment in Rome were three Jewish Christians: Aristarchus, who had travelled with him on the adventurous sea voyage from Palestine (see Acts 27:1-2); Mark, who had once helped him in the gospel and who was likely to visit Colossae soon (see Acts 12:25; Acts 13:5,Acts 13:13; 14:36-39); and Jesus Justus (10-11).

Three other people with Paul were Gentiles: Epaphras, who had worked faithfully and prayerfully in and around Colossae (see 1:7); Luke, the writer of one Gospel and Acts, who also had travelled with Paul from Palestine to Rome (see Acts 27:1-2; Acts 28:16); and Demas, who later deserted him (see 2 Timothy 4:10) (12-14).

Paul also sends greetings to the church in the neighbouring town of Laodicea. The church there had likewise received a letter from Paul, and he asks that the Colossian and Laodicean churches exchange letters so that both may receive additional teaching (15-16). In closing, Paul encourages Archippus to carry out his work for God faithfully, and reminds the Colossians that he is still imprisoned and he needs their prayers (17-18).

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Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Colossians 4". "Brideway Bible Commentary". 2005.