7 Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord.8 I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts.
9 He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.
*Last week we read about Paul asking for prayer. Here Paul is sending people back to Colossae with an update – information on his current situation. I think it is helpful when asking for prayer to be specific and to give an update. Ex. Pray that we find a house. Vs. Pray that we find a house in the Northshore School District with a large fenced yard for our dog and 2 bathrooms. (Shared my story about buying our current home and how Jason wanted an attached garage and I wanted a detached garage. We had a few other things we wanted, and God met them all. Including an attached/detached garage meeting both our desires - a detached garage with a covered breezeway.)
10 My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.)
11 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.
12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.
13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis.
14 Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings.
*Say hello! Stay connected to the church. (Shared an example from my own life of how I usually want to run away from people and God when I'm hurting, but that's not what the Bible tells us to do.)
15 Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.
*Women played an important role in Biblical history. Pay attention to which women are mentioned in the Bible and what they were doing. (Please note that after teaching this lesson we discovered that some versions of the Bible say "Nympha" and "His house." I have asked a couple of Bible scholars for their insight into this difference between translations, but I have not received a solid answer yet. Regardless, my point about women in the Bible stands.)
16 After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.
*Why would Paul want the two churches to swap letters after reading them? (Honestly I totally forgot to bring this up in the Bible Session. If you happen to talk to your kids about what we are teaching each week, you might want to discuss this with them.)
17 Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord.”
*This is a common theme in the New Testament. Don’t give up. Don’t grow weary. Finish the work set before you. In our current culture of immediate gratification, over 50% divorce rate, use a product and toss it in the trash, it’s easy to fall into the habit of “it’s hard, so I quit.” BUT, over and over again, we read in the New Testament to press on.
*Question to ponder: In what area of your life do you need to press on right now?
18 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
*And grace be with you all as well.