Every word of Scripture is profitable for us, and that includes today’s passage—the final greetings and instructions at the close of Colossians. Although reading a list of names may not seem edifying at first, doing so provides a lesson on living with a committed Christian community. The people Paul mentions are all examples of faithful servants of God.
For instance, Tychicus (vv. 7-8) brought Paul’s letter from Rome to Colossae since the apostle was in prison. The distance is about 900 miles as the crow flies, but it was much farther for Tychicus, who had to sail around Italy and across the Mediterranean Sea before traveling through Asia Minor on foot. Yet he faithfully endured the hardship in order to bring Paul’s letter to the Colossians—and to us, since the epistle is now part of the New Testament.
Onesimus (v. 9) exemplifies a life transformed by Christ—this runaway slave was a valuable servant not only to his former master but also to Paul (Philem. 1:10-17). Then Epaphras (Col. 4:12-13) was a faithful intercessor for the church in Colossae, and Luke was a committed companion to Paul during the apostle’s travels and imprisonment. And Nympha is acknowledged for hospitality in opening her home as a meeting place for the church.
In the New Testament, we’re instructed to be faithful stewards, live transformed lives, pray for one another, serve humbly, and practice hospitality so Jesus’ love is apparent to those who don’t know Him. As the people in today’s passage show, your actions can reflect Christ even more than words do.
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