Summary: These are the kind of verses we tend to skim over. But to have your name mentioned in the Word of God is no small thing! Paul mentions those who stayed and prayed and one who strayed.
Colossians Series # 5
CHCC: December 10, 2006
Jesus Christ, the One and Only
Glorified in His Church
Colossians 4 (outline adapted from Warren Wiersbe)
Scripture Reading: Colossians 4:2-6
This is the last sermon in our series on the book of Colossians --- which was all about “Jesus the One and Only” Going back briefly through what we’ve learned: (Hopefully some of this will sound familiar to you!)
· In Chapter 1 we saw that Jesus is the Image of the Invisible God
· In Chapter 2 we learned to Accept no Substitute (no human Philosophy, Mysticism , Ritualism or Legalism can ever replace Christ)
· Chapter 3 taught us that Christ is Made Visible in Us (Paul said to throw off the “Grave Clothes” and CLOTHE yourself with Christ)
· Chapter 3 also showed that Christ can be Revealed in our Relationships – especially in the Relationship between Husband and Wife, Parent and Child, and Boss and Employee.
· And finally Chapter 4 shows Jesus to be Glorified in His Church
Paul ends his letter with Greetings from the people who are with him in Rome. Paul often ended his letters with personal greetings. If you read through the book of ACTS and the letters Paul wrote, you’d find that Paul mentions the names of over 100 Christians who worked with him in his Missionary Efforts. You see, Paul was more than a “soul-saver.” Paul was also a “friend-maker.”
Now, I admit that these are the kind of verses we tend to skim over. But to have your name mentioned in the Word of God is no small thing! I’m sure if MY name was written there I’d probably have someone make a fancy calligraphy and have it Framed and put in a prominent place on the wall of my Den. Anyway, let’s see what we can learn about the 11 people mentioned in chapter 4 of Colossians.
We’re going to put most of these people in the category of THOSE WHO STAYED.
1. Those who STAYED
There’s a great value to just BEING THERE. That’s what these men and women did. They stuck with Paul through thick and thin. They didn’t give up and quit.
Starting with verse 7, we read, Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here. Colossians 4:7-9
(Notice that we were kind to our Scripture Readers today and didn’t ask them to read names like Tychicus --- Onesimus --- Aristarchus.) Tychicus and Onesimus were sent to the Colossian congregation to give a report. Someone had to go in Paul’s behalf because Paul was stuck in a Roman prison. These men were Paul’s spokesmen in Rome --- and now they would carry his report to the Colossians.
I remember back in 1994, when Phil Adams and I went to Kenya to visit the Snyders and bring back a report. What we did was important --- both for the time we shared with Dave and Suzie --- and also for what we could report about work the Snyders were doing among the Maasai. I remember one of the missionaries in Nairobi saying she wished her home congregation would send someone. There is no substitute for a personal visit from someone who is willing to give a good report.
Next, Paul mentions 3 Jewish brothers who stayed with him in his time of need. He says, My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you greetings as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. Colossians 4:10-11
Notice that Paul specifically says they were a comfort to him. These men shared his Heritage as a JEW, and now they shared his Commitment to the Messiah. They must have felt like family to Paul. I am thankful that through the years, our Congregation has always had people who would take the part of being “family” to those in need.
Some of you have the gift of Mercy. You are the ones who take time to visit hospital patients, shut-ins, and others who are going through hard times. You have people into your homes and invest yourselves in the lives of others. This is the way the church was designed to function. Ministry happens when members of the congregation give comfort and help where it is needed.