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Fellowship of Encouragement pt. 3

12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. He is always wrestling for you in his prayers, so that you can stand mature and fully assured in everything God wills. 13 For I testify about him that he works hard for you, for those in Laodicea, and for those in Hierapolis. 14 Luke, the dearly loved physician, and Demas send you greetings. (Colossians 4:12-14)

Continuing with this closing theme of a fellowship of encouragement among believers, Paul has three more names that send their greetings while they help with the ministry. Epaphras was named at the beginning of this letter in Colossians 1:7-8, “You learned [the gospel] from Epaphras, our dearly loved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, and he has told us about your love in the Spirit.” Epaphras was attributed by Paul to be the individual responsible for bringing the gospel message to the now believers at Colossae. Not only did he share the gospel, but he stayed and was ministering to the church. Notice how intense he was praying for the people, “wrestling for you in his prayers.” Being among them, he was very aware of the false teachers attacking the believers. Therefore, Epaphras was in battle, praying for them for the purpose “so that you can stand mature and fully assured in everything God wills.” Paul personally testifies how hard Epaphras served, extending beyond Colossae: “I testify about him that he works hard for you, for those in Laodicea, and for those in Hierapolis.”

The last two names mentioned are Luke “the dearly loved physician” and Demas. This Luke is the author of the gospel of Luke, who, because of his doctoral background, was very detailed in his gospel account, focusing on showing Jesus as the healer of both physical and spiritual needs of the people. Demas, on the other hand, was an interesting individual. Here, he is currently still assisting Paul. However, at the end of Paul’s life, unfortunately, Demas would turn away from the faith, as seen in 2 Timothy 4:10-11, “for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.”

Like yesterday, we can have a takeaway from each named individual. With Epaphras, we can see how important praying intentionally for people’s needs is for ministry work. Not only that, but through prayer, just like Epaphras going to Colossae, we need to listen to God’s leading and go into action. With Luke, we can use the gifts that God has provided us, especially our professions, to serve in the ministry. Finally, with Demas, we can see this as a warning, to remain faithful in our walk with Christ, steering clear from the temptation of the world.


Isaac De Guzman


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