“Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”
“Epaphras” was an eminent Bible teacher from Colosse (Col 1:7,8; 4:12). He was with Paul when he wrote Colossians in Rome. Paul mentions Epaphras in Philemon 23, calling him “my fellow prisoner;” he was Paul’s cellmate. Epaphras’ made a long, hazardous journey to Rome. His report concerning the conditions in the churches of the Lycus Valley caused Paul to write Colossians (Col 1:7-9).
We see Paul’s esteem for Epaphras in the representations he applies to him: “Our beloved fellow servant,” “a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf” (Col 1:7), “a servant of Christ Jesus” (Col 4:12), and “my fellow prisoner” (Philemon 23). Epaphras’ unique distinction is Paul’s praise for his fervent intercession for the churches of the Lycus Valley (Col 4:12,13).
“who is one of you”
Along with Onesimus (v.9), Epaphras was a Colosse Christian; he belonged to the church at Colosse. He was probably their pastor.
God expects us to appreciate our colleagues in ministry.
How would you describe those with whom you serve? Do you have the capacity of soul to affirm their strengths?