|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:23-25 Never have believers found more enjoyment of God, than when suffering together for him. Grace is the best wish for ourselves and others; with this the apostle begins and ends. All grace is from Christ; he purchased, and he bestows it. What need we more to make us happy, than to have the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ with our spirit? Let us do that now, which we should do at the last breath. Then men are ready to renounce the world, and to prefer the least portion of grace and faith before a kingdom.
Verses 23, 24. - Salute. The salutations correspond generally to those with which the Epistle to the Colossians closes, but they are fuller, as is natural, in the longer Epistle. The order is in - Colossians:
Lucas My fellow-prisoner. The word occurs elsewhere only in Romans 16:7, besides the parallel passage in Colossians 4:10. As to Epaphras, see above. Marcus, having once forsaken the apostle (Acts 13:13; Acts 15:37-39), had now returned, and was with him in Rome. Aristarchus was "a Macedonian of Thessalonica," and had accompanied St. Paul in his memorable voyage to Rome (Acts 27:2). Demas was now the "co-worker" of the apostle at Rome, but at a later period he had departed unto Thessalonica (2 Timothy 4:10), and we know nothing of his subsequent history. Tradition (Epiph., 'Haer.,' 41:6) relates that he also apostatized from Christianity; but the apostle's phrase, though a strong one, does not necessarily mean this. Lucas (see 2 Corinthians 8:18).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
There salute thee Epaphras,.... Who was a Colossian, and minister of the church at Colosse, and so might be well known to Philemon, who seems to have been of the same place and church; see Colossians 1:7 his name is omitted in the Ethiopic version:
my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus; this good man, and minister of Christ, might have been sent by the Colossians, as Epaphroditus was by the Philippians, to the apostle at Rome, to pay him a visit, and comfort and assist him under his afflictions; and staying and preaching the Gospel there, was committed to prison, or was laid in bonds, as the apostle was, and upon the same account; namely, for the sake of Christ, and his Gospel. For by this time Nero began to persecute the Christians, which he did in the better and more moderate part of his reign; for among several things for which he is commended by the historian (b), this is one,
""Afficti suppliciis Christiani, genus hominum superstitionis novae ac maleficae"; the Christians were punished, a sort of men of a new and bad religion:
and Epaphras being at Rome, when this persecution broke out, was taken up and put in prison, as were also Aristarchus, Colossians 4:10 and Timothy, Hebrews 13:23.
(b) Suetonius in Vita Neronis, c. 16.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
23. The same persons send salutations in the accompanying Epistle, except that "Jesus Justus" is not mentioned here.
Epaphras, my fellow prisoner—He had been sent by the Colossian Church to inquire after, and minister to, Paul, and possibly was cast into prison by the Roman authorities on suspicion. However, he is not mentioned as a prisoner in Col 4:12, so that "fellow prisoner" here may mean merely one who was a faithful companion to Paul in his imprisonment, and by his society put himself in the position of a prisoner. So also "Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner," Col 4:10, may mean. Benson conjectures the meaning to be that on some former occasion these two were Paul's "fellow prisoners," not at the time.
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