Useful Bible Studies > Colossians Commentary > chapter 4


Colossians 4:17

Before Paul finishes his letter, God has given him a special message for a Christian in Colosse called Archippus. Archippus has a special task that God has given him to do. God’s message is that Archippus must give careful attention to his work for God. He must not neglect it, because God wants him to complete that task.

We do not know what Archippus’s task was. Clearly it was a difficult task, because it was necessary to encourage him to complete it. Clearly the task took a long time to complete, because he had still not finished it. Probably the task needed much thought and much effort, because God wanted him to give attention to it. Also, it seems to be the kind of work that few Christians have to do – the instruction is to him alone.

Perhaps Archippus’s work was to lead Colosse’s church while Epaphras, its leader, was away in Rome. If so, that might explain why Paul urged all the church members to tell the message to Archippus. It was important that they all should encourage him to do his work for God. It would also explain why Archippus had to continue and to complete this work. Epaphras would not be able to return to Colosse soon, because he became a prisoner in Rome (Philemon 23).

God’s work is important. So any task that God gives us to do is important. We should do it with proper care and attention. We may not always know for how long God wants us to continue with that task. We may have many difficulties as we do it. However, we must not neglect it and we must not try to find excuses to stop it. God has given us that work for a purpose; we must not stop until that purpose is complete. We should pray for God to show us clearly when that time has come.

Next part: Paul blesses Colosse's Christians (Colossians 4:18)


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