Lessons From Prison

Colossians 4:7-18 (ESV)

Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here. Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.” I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

Paul is wrapping up his letter to the church in Colossae, so he updates them on some people they know, then greets certain individuals He is sending them two people, Tychicus and Onesimus to carry the letter, as well as provide an update to what is happening with Paul and his entourage.

I am amazed at how God cares for us daily. Paul, who was making big waves by teaching about the love and grace of Jesus, was on trial for breaking the law. He did not break any laws, but because the Jews had accused him of trying to incite a riot, he was arrested. In order to prevent himself from being handed over to the Jews that wanted to kill him, he appealed to Caesar, as was his right because he was a Roman Citizen. This was all so he could go to Rome and preach the Gospel there as well.

Although he was a prisoner, because he was a citizen and had shown that he was not a problem, he was given many privileges, which included being able to live in a house instead of a prison, and had several people with him, helping to care for his needs.

What can we learn and apply to our lives from Paul here?

1. Paul used the laws of Rome to prolong his safety from the Jews who wanted to kill him.

2. Paul continued his mission of sharing God’s Gospel message wherever he went.

3. He kept in touch with his congregations, churches he started by letter

4. He never ceased praying about them, and for them.

5. He did not pull punches when he needed to make correction.

Some of these are not lessons specifically from this letter, but his other letters.

May we apply these things to our lives as well, and never cease telling people about the Gospel of Jesus. He is our purpose for being still alive on this Earth. If we were not to share His Gospel, He would have taken us to heaven the moment we became members of His family through faith and baptism. So wonder at His mercy and Grace, and live for Him.

by Virgil Stripes

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