Colossians 4:12-13 tells us, “Epaphras, who is one of you, a slave of Christ Jesus, greets you. He is always contending for you in his prayers, so that you can stand mature and fully assured in everything God wills. For I testify about him that he works hard for you, for those in Laodicea, and for those in Hierapolis.”
We don’t know much about this guy Epaphras other than:
he was from Colossea
he was a slave of Jesus Christ
he contended for the church in Colossea in prayer
he worked hard for those in Colossea, Laodicea and Hierapolis.
Colossians 1:4-8 also tell us he:
told the Colossians the message of truth
was a faithful servant of the Messiah on their behalf
and told Paul and his group about the Colossian’s love.
That’s pretty much it! What sticks out to me here is that Paul makes a point to tell the Colossians about Epaphras’ hard work or zealous prayers for them as a body! And the subject of his prayers is that the church may stand mature and fully assured in all that God wills! I am amazed at this!
The Greek word for ‘contending’ here is agōnízomai. You can see we get our word agonize from this word. It means:
- to enter a contest: contend in the gymnastic games
- to contend with adversaries, fight
- metaphor, to contend, struggle, with difficulties and dangers
- to endeavor with strenuous zeal, strive: to obtain something
Jesus, teach me to be an Epaphras for Your body in Roswell, NM. Teach me to endeavor with strenuous zeal, to strive to obtain for those around me what is theirs already in You. I desire to see Your body not only acting like one body but I desire to see us mature and grown up in You. Teach me to cry out for this! Amen.