Let’s go ahead and read those verses.  Colossians 4:11-13 says, “And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me. Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.”

As most of us know, the chapter and verse divisions of the scriptures are not divinely inspired.  The divisions were made by man to help us identify different thoughts and for easy reference.  Stephen Langton, an Archbishop of Canterbury put the modern chapter divisions into place in around A.D. 1227. The Wycliffe English Bible of 1382 was the first Bible to use this chapter pattern.  I just point that out to show that Colossians 4:1 rightly belongs at the end of chapter 3.  You can tell by the wording that it belongs in the previous chapter.

Colossians 4:2-18 form the closing of this book.  In this salutation, Paul mentions 11 people by name.  We know that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)  Therefore, even the mention of these names has importance to it.  Some of these people are only mentioned here.  A profitable way to study these people is to find the meaning of their names.  In the scriptures, a person’s name often reflects his character.

In verses 11-13, two names are mentioned:  Jesus, which is called Justus, and Epaphras.  What do we know about these men?  Jesus was a fairly common name at the time, and this man, whose name was Jesus, went by the name Justus.  The name ‘Justus’ means ‘just or righteous’.  This gives us a clue as to his character as being a righteous man.  Justus was “of the circumcision,” which means that he, along with Marcus from verse 10, was Jewish.  In verse 11, when Paul says, “These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God” he is more than likely referring to the fact that they only of all the Jews who were at Rome assisted Paul in his work. Epaphras, Luke, and Demas were also with him at Rome, and doubtless aided him, but they were not Jewish.

We learn of Epaphras in a couple of other places in the scriptures.  In Colossians 1:7, he is called, “…our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ.”  In Philemon 23, we learn that Epaphras was Paul’s “…fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus.”  He was in prison with Paul in Rome.  We also learn in verse 12 here that Epaphras labored fervently in prayer for the Colossians.  He is the proper example of what a ‘prayer warrior’ is.  Not only did he pray, but he toiled passionately for his fellow saints.  These two men, along with many others, had sent along their greetings for Paul to share with the Colossians.  We learn of his zealousness in verse 13.

These two men, who are virtually unknown to us, were included in God’s Holy Word.  May we learn from them.  May we learn to live lives of righteousness, honoring the Lord with the way we live.  May we all learn to be “faithful ministers of Christ.”  May we learn the privilege of being a “prisoner of Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 3:1)  May we learn how to labor passionately in prayer for the needs of others.  These men are good examples for us to follow as we seek to live lives that bring honor and glory to our blessed savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.  (201.8)