|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:10-18 Paul had differed with Barnabas, on the account of this Mark, yet he is not only reconciled, but recommends him to the churches; an example of a truly Christian and forgiving spirit. If men have been guilty of a fault, it must not always be remembered against them. We must forget as well as forgive. The apostle had comfort in the communion of saints and ministers. One is his fellow-servant, another his fellow-prisoner, and all his fellow-workers, working out their own salvation, and endeavouring to promote the salvation of others. The effectual, fervent prayer is the prevailing prayer, and availeth much. The smiles, flatteries, or frowns of the world, the spirit of error, or the working of self-love, leads many to a way of preaching and living which comes far short of fulfilling their ministry. But those who preach the same doctrine as Paul, and follow his example, may expect the Divine favour and blessing.
Verse 17. - And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou receivedst in (the) Lord, that thou fulfil it (Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy 1:18, 19; 1 Timothy 4:6, 11-16; 1 Timothy 6:13, 14, 20, 21; 2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Timothy 4:5). From the connection of this verse with the two preceding, it seems likely that "the ministry" of Archippus related to the Laodicean Church. Hence he is not addressed directly. If he was, as we gather from Philemon 1, 2, the son of Philemon, whose house formed a centre for the Colossian Church (Philemon 1:2), the warning would be suitably conveyed through this channel. In the letter to Philemon, the apostle calls him his" fellow soldier" (comp. Colossians 4:10; Philippians 1:29, 30). Both from this fact, and from the emphasis of the words before us, it would appear that his office was an important one, probably that of chief pastor. This warning addressed so early to the minister of the Laodicean Church is premonitory of the lapsed condition in which it is afterwards found (Revelation 3:14-22); see Lightfoot, pp. 42, 43. (For "ministry" (διακονία), comp. Colossians 1:7, 23; 1 Corinthians 4:1, etc. For "received," comp. note, Colossians 2:6.) "In the Lord; "for every office in the Church is grounded in him as Head and Lord (Colossians 1:18; Colossians 2:6; Colossians 3:17, 24; Colossians 4:7; Ephesians 1:22; Ephesians 4:5; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 1 Corinthians 12:5, etc.), and must be administered according to his direction and as subject to his judgment (see 1 Corinthians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 4:1-5; 2 Corinthians 10:17, 18; 2 Corinthians 13:10; Galatians 1:1; 1 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 4:1, 2). "Fulfil" (comp. Colossians 1:26; 2 Timothy 4:5; Acts 12:25). This admonition resembles those addressed to Timothy in the Pastoral Epistles.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And say to Archippus,.... A name common among the Grecians. This person the apostle calls his fellow soldier, in Plm 1:2 and who was now the minister of the Gospel at Colosse, his fellow minister, or co-pastor Epaphras, being at Rome, and a prisoner there; though by some he is said to be the first bishop of the Laodiceans, but it seems most likely that he now resided at Colosse, and was their minister: who being negligent in his office, they are called upon to say unto him,
take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord,
that thou fulfil it. The "ministry" he had, was not that of the office of a deacon, as some have thought, but of a preacher of the word; and this he had "received" gifts for, and was called unto it, and installed in it; and that "in", and "by the Lord" himself, and to whom he was accountable for it: and therefore it was incumbent on him to "fulfil it"; by constantly preaching the word, and faithfully administering the ordinances; by defending truth, detecting error, reproving vice, visiting the sick, and comforting the feeble minded; taking heed in all things to himself and doctrine, that he feed the whole flock of God with wholesome food; and, as a wise and faithful steward, give to everyone their portion of meat in due season: hence it appears, that when ministers are negligent in the discharge of their duty, the church has a power to admonish and exhort them to a diligent performance of it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. say to Archippus—The Colossians (not merely the clergy, but the laymen) are directed, "Speak ye to Archippus." This proves that Scripture belongs to the laity as well as the clergy; and that laymen may profitably admonish the clergy in particular cases when they do so in meekness. Bengel suggests that Archippus was perhaps prevented from going to the Church assembly by weak health or age. The word, "fulfil," accords with his ministry being near its close (Col 1:25; compare Phm 2). However, "fulfil" may mean, as in 2Ti 4:5, "make full proof of thy ministry." "Give all diligence to follow it out fully"; a monition perhaps needed by Archippus.
in the Lord—The element in which every work of the Christian, and especially the Christian minister, is to be done (Col 4:7; 1Co 7:39; Php 4:2).
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