Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”
I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
Comment: We see in this closing passage a few disjointed but ‘family matters’ which tie the churches in the area into a unity. Obviously if the letters mentioned to area churches had been ‘photocopies’ there would have been little point in asking them to share the contents with each other. We have a few names mentioned – Luke the gentile doctor, the writer of one of the gospels and the book of Acts; Epaphras, apparently originally from Colossae, keen in prayer and concern; Nympha, a lady, owner of a home in which they had a house church; Archippus, a leader who is reminder to get on with his appointed responsibilities; Demas, who while praised here, is, in a later epistle, accused of deserting his post for a more comfortable worldly life. Having used an amanuensis to write the dictated letter, Paul scribbles his personal signature and greeting at the end!
Prayer: Although written centuries ago, there is so much in this letter for us today. Thank You, Jesus.