Lesson 23: Farewells

Colossians: Knowing Christ  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  41:18
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Lesson 23: Farewells
Colossians 4:7-18
We come to the last lesson in this series on the book of Colossians.
As we read through the Bible we hear a great deal about Peter, James, John, and Matthew. Why? Because these men were used by God to write some of the New Testament books, and we get to know a good deal about them.
As we read through the scriptures, there are other names of people we hear about, and we do not know that much about them. Some are known for their GREATNESS, but some of these are known for their WICKEDNESS.
In the last chapter of Colossians, Paul mentions some of these people. Let’s take a look at some of these men who will go down in history for the way they lived their lives.


This portion of scripture gives us a real picture of the GOOD and BAD Companions that surrounded the life of the apostle Paul.
Someone said, “Politics makes strange bed fellows!” That may be true, but so does religion.
For example, as we look at this group of men that Paul mentions in the last chapter of Colossians, we truly see a mixture of fellows.
Let’s look at them as Paul lists them.

A. Tychicus - fortunate

Not only is he mentioned here, but he is mentioned in the book of Acts as well as in 3 other epistles of Paul.
He was a man of Asia according to Acts 20:4 and likely of the Asia minor area of present day Turkey.
He is described by Paul with a couple of phrases that we would all do well to have the same said of us.

1. The beloved brother

This is a term that is used to tell how he felt for a fellows servant that was dear to him.
A survey was done, dealing with pastors. “The Baptist Bible Trumpet” editor, Steven E Mays, in January of 2000, recorded that 70% of the ministers surveyed did not believe they had someone they considered a close friend.
I think it is more than preachers though, I think many people feel that way today. You shouldn’t feel that way if you have a church.

2. Faithful minister

But the fact is, ministers of the gospel are some of the loneliest people on this earth.

3. Fellowservant

When it comes to friends, I have found this to be true: my friends are those that serve the Lord with me.
I meet preachers who say they have no friends - but the truth is outside of these four walls, I have very very few friends as well.
If a preacher doesn’t have friends it is because he is not serving in the church or his people aren’t, or he refused to recognize those he serves with at church as friends.
Paul was blessed to have a good group of friends, one was the man name Tychicus.
Paul had another good friend by the name of-

B. Onesimus - Profitable

He was faithful too.
I think there is always two great things to be stated about being faithful.
One is that anyone can be faithful. It doesn’t take talent, ability, it is not dependent on your pocketbook or your looks - it just takes you begin faithful to your God.
But a faithful person is faithful to their friends as well. Here is one of the worst things about this cancel culture that exists today - is that people unfriend people, literally when they make a mistake.
I don’t want to be a fair weather friend. I have two friends long in the past that got into trouble. When was prosecuted and one was not. I wrote letters on behalf of both of my friends. As to their guiltiness I can never say what was true. But I could say the man I knew and who I knew each of them to be. One was convicted and the other wasn’t. They are still my friends today.
By the way, if someone is guilty, as long as they are genuinely repentant I’m going to be their friend. That is what a faithful friend does.

C. Aristarchus - Best Leader

v.10 but of course, he was more than that he was - THE FELLOW PRISONER.
Paul had friends in the church, but also he had friends in the jail. Aristarchus was such a friend.
Commentator John Philips says this:
a companion of the apostle Paul on his third missionary journey. He accompanied him to Ephesus. He was captured and almost killed by the mob in the riot raised by Demetrius and the silversmiths (Acts 19:29). He accompanied Paul to Greece and from there back to Asia Minor (Acts 20:4). He accompanied Paul to Rome (Acts 27:2), sharing in the dangers of the voyage and in the shipwreck.
We do not know at what point he was made a prisoner, but evidently that was the price he paid for his allegiance to the apostle. Tradition has it that he was martyred by Nero. One suggestion is that Paul’s friends took turns in keeping him company at Rome but were permitted to do so only by becoming prisoners themselves.
Phillips, J. (2009). Exploring Colossians & Philemon: An Expository Commentary (Col 4:10a). Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp.

D. Marcus - Mark

This is most likely John-Mark, the former backslider, but who was profitable later for the ministry and the penman of the Gospel of Mark.

E. Jesus Justus

A worshipper of God and one that was a Jew.
Paul says that Justus and the others had been a great comfort to him.

F. Epaphras - a fellow servant

vv. 12-13 Epaphras WAS A PRAYER WARRIOR for the Colossians.
One of the best friends we can have, is a friend who is a prayer warrior.
If you remember, Epaphras was the pastor of the church in Colosse. But now he is in prison. He is locked up, but his prayers are not.

G. Luke - The Physician

Not just the physcian but he was: “Luke, the beloved physician.…”

G. Demas - The Traitor

Now notice in verse 14, Paul says, “Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you.”
He does not say anything about Demas, other than that he sends his greetings.
Certainly we do not know what Paul’s relationship was with Demas at this point, but it is probable that Paul could see that there was something seriously missing.
Sure enough! Later on, this is the same Demas that Paul spoke of in 2 Timothy 4:10. “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.”
For the most part, Paul was surrounded by godly men and women. They played a major part, in his life being molded and shaped into the man of God he became.
We have looked at THE FELLOWS, but now let us look at-


Look at verses 15-16. We read, “Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house. And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.”
Notice the affection that is revealed in this passage of scripture.
He said, “Salute the brethren…”
One of the things that is missing in so many churches today is this “Brethren” relationship.
Many churches today have adopted more of a “Networking” than a “Brethren relationship.” They are looking to build relationships that make them more important, popular, successful. Rather than caring about people.
Nothing is wrong with networking or wanting to be successful. But we are here at church to build each other up and draw closer to the Lord.
Something the church needs again, is that “Brotherhood relationship” that Paul refers to with these Christians.
Paul asked that they might do THREE things for him.

A. Salute the brethren

which are in Laodicea and Nymphas.

B. Read the Letter

The letter he is sending them was also to be read in the church of Laodicea.

C. Encourage Archippus

Look at Colossians 4:17. We read, “And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.”
He wanted them to encourage Archippus to do the things God had called him to do.
We looked at THE FELLOWS, and THE FAVOR, but let us also look at-


Paul asked them to consider doing him one last thing, a favor if you will.
Look at verse 18. We read, “The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.”
Notice, of all the people that the apostle Paul mentioned, he placed his name at the last.
If Paul had been like many today, he would have placed his name at the top, and everyone else under him. And the only reason he mentioned his name, was for prayer purposes.
Something that you will find among mature Christians, is their constant request for others to pray for them. They recognize the need to pray for themselves, but they also recognize the value in having others pray for them.
Let me asking you tonight, who are you praying for and who are you a friend and fellowservant to. I hope that you are heavily involved in both of those pursuits.
Next week is the last week of our study.
Let’s stand and pray.
Lesson 23: Farewells
Colossians 4:7-18
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