4 Masters, [on your part] deal with your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.(A)
2 Be persistent and devoted to prayer, being alert and focused in your prayer life with an attitude of thanksgiving. 3 At the same time pray for us, too, that God will open a door [of opportunity] to us for the word, to proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I have been imprisoned; 4 that I may make it clear [and speak boldly and unfold the mystery] in the way I should.
5 Conduct yourself with wisdom in your interactions with outsiders (non-believers), make the most of each opportunity [treating it as something precious]. 6 Let your speech at all times be gracious and pleasant, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to answer each one [who questions you].
7 As to all my affairs, [a]Tychicus, who is a much-loved brother and faithful assistant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will give you all the information.(B) 8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are doing and that he may encourage your hearts; 9 and with him is [b]Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will let you know everything about the situation here [in Rome].
10 Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, wishes to be remembered to you; as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions; if he comes to you, welcome him); 11 and from Jesus, who is called Justus. These are the only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are from the circumcision (Jewish Christians), and they have proved to be an encouragement and a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. [He is] always striving for you in his prayers, praying with genuine concern, [pleading] that you may [as people of character and courage] stand firm, [spiritually mature] and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I testify for him that he has worked strenuously for you and for the believers in Laodicea and those in Hierapolis. 14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you. 15 Give my greetings to the [c]brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church that meets in her house. 16 When this letter has been read among you, see that it is read in the church of the Laodiceans; and also that you in turn read [d]my letter [that is coming to you] from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, “See to it that you fulfill [carefully the duties of] the ministry which you have received in the Lord.”
18 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. May grace (God’s unmerited favor and blessing) be with you.
- Colossians 4:7 Tychicus probably delivered this letter to Colossae, as well as Paul’s letter to Ephesus, while traveling on the same journey.
- Colossians 4:9 Onesimus was Philemon’s runaway slave who was converted to Christianity under Paul’s ministry.
- Colossians 4:15 Lit brethren.
- Colossians 4:16 Paul is most likely referring to the letter he wrote to the Ephesians (see note Eph 1:1) during this same time period.