Colossians 4:7-9 / Care for One Another

Posted on November 29, 2015


This is the twenty-fourth in a verse by verse exposition of the book of Colossians. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the evening of November 29, 2015. This message deals with our need to know and share one another’s burdens. This post contains an audio recording of the sermon, as well as my sermon notes (sermon notes are not necessarily a complete transcript).

Col 4:7-9


As he often does at the end of his letters, Paul in vv. 7-9 singles out for special mention some people who are with him and who are being sent to the letter’s destination to tell the Christians there more about his circumstances.

  • Ephesians 6:21-22

Almost certainly these people were the ones charged with carrying the letter Paul has written to its destination.

Tychicus was apparently the person chiefly responsible for delivering the letter.

Since he plays the same role in Ephesians (6:21) and is accompanied by Onesimus (v. 9), and since Ephesus and Colossae are no more than a hundred and twenty miles apart, we can reasonably surmise that he is carrying the letters to the Ephesians, to the Colossians, and to Philemon at the same time.

The name means “fortuitous” or “fortunate.” He was one of the Gentile converts Paul took to Jerusalem as a representative of the Gentile churches.

  • Acts 20:4

He was a faithful companion of Paul and apparently a capable leader.

  • 2 Timothy 4:12
  • Titus 3:12

He had the responsibility to deliver Paul’s letters to the Colossians and the Ephesians.

  • Ephesians 6:21

He was to update them on Paul.

Paul explains a twofold purpose he had in sending Tychicus to the Colossians:

  1. That he would know their circumstances
  2. That he would comfort their hearts

Accompanying Tychicus was Onesimus, the runaway slave who in the providence of God had met Paul in Rome and had apparently been led to Christ by him.

Paul is now sending Onesimus back to Colosse– with no mention of his past, but with the heart- warming phrase that he is now “one of you” . . . a faithful brother.

As Christians, we have an obligation to minister to one-another.

The only way we can do that is if we know each other’s needs. We can’t meet a need without knowing a need.

This should serve as a reminder that we ought not only to make ourselves available to one-another, but that we should be willing to share our needs and our struggles with our brethren.

When we see a need, we should make every effort to provide comfort to each other.

It is clear that Paul wanted to know their situation, and to have them know his situation. He obviously saw this ministry as a two way street.

They would provide the needed support to each other. This is what we are commanded to do in Hebrews.

  • Hebrews 10:25

The assembling together of the saints is important. It allows us to know one-another and understand each other’s needs.

It provides opportunity to comfort and strengthen (exhort) one-another.

This becomes all the more urgent as the “day” (rapture) approaches.

  • 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18

We may not know when that day is, but it is closer than it ever has been!

As we get closer and closer to that time, Christians will face more and more persecution. Therefore, the command becomes more and more urgent.

  • Hebrews 3:13
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