Daily Devotions


Day 88

"Epaphras... a bondservant of Christ..."

Text: Colossians 4:12


Paul continued to be exemplary as he wrote about the people who were sending greetings to the church in Colossae. This time he mentioned a person called Epaphras.

“Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ,
greets you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers,
that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
For I bear him witness that he has a great zeal for you,
and those who are in Laodicea, and those in Hierapolis.”

Colossians 4:12-13

1. Who is Epaphras?

a) Some suggest that this is Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-30).
b) Arguments for this suggestion:-
i) He is well commended.
ii) Epaphras could be a shortened name for Epaphroditus.
c) Arguments that would suggest that he was a different person:-
i) Epaphroditus was sent by the church in Philippi.
ii) Epaphras was described as someone who came from Colossae.
iii) The words of commendation are different from that given to Epaphroditus.

2. Commendation of Epaphras (not Epaphroditus)

a) He humbly serves as a bondservant of Christ.
b) His ministry was strongly in prayer.
i) The word “always” marks the special way he prayed.
ii) The phrase “labouring fervently” translates the word “to agonize”.
He agonized in prayer for the Colossians.
c) Two special goals of prayer:-
i) To stand “perfect” (that is, “mature”).
ii) The phrase “and complete in all the will of God” may be translated as follows, “and complete in carrying out the will of God”.

3. Paul’s personal witness

a) Epaphras had a great zeal.
b) For Colossae, for Laodicea and Hierapolis (NB. There is no mention of Philippi at all).