(18 verses, 1:45 to read)
What I am about to READ
- Paul encourages his congregation in Colossae to prayer and gives some final greetings and instructions.
MARK and LEARN
- Paul began his letter with an exhortation to prayer and his last instruction at the end of the letter is centered on prayer. This emphasis on prayer indicates that for the early Christians, prayer was vitally important, as it was in the earthly life of their Lord. The Colossians are to pray with thankfulness for the blessings which come from God and also pray watchfully for the return of Christ (4:2). Paul also tells them to pray for him and his ministry that God would open doorways for the Word to convert the unbelieving (4:3).
- Paul mentions no less than ten people in his final remarks. A few notables: Onesimus was the runaway slave that was the subject and occasion for Paul’s letter to Philemon, the master of Onesimus. Barnabas and Mark both assisted Paul in his missionary journeys, and from this letter we learn that Luke, who likely wrote the gospel that bears his name, was a doctor.
- Paul’s letters were to be read in the public assembly of Christians. He gives instructions that after his letter was read at Colossae, it should be forwarded to the church in Laodicea. The Laodiceans in turn, should give the Colossians the letter that they received from Paul. It is a shame that this letter (from the Laodicians) is not extant. But it shows that Paul was aware that as an apostle with the special charge to teach the gentile churches, he was writing scripture which bore witness to Jesus and his doctrine, which should be preserved and passed on to other congregations.
- Lord Jesus, you went off by yourself to pray to your Father in heaven. You have also commanded us to pray and promised that the Father will hear us for your sake. Take our prayers, which we often utter without thought or heartfelt gratitude, and take them before the throne of your Father. Help us to pray steadfastly, always giving thanks to you for your mercy and love. Amen.