Tidings for Tuesday

As ye also learned of Epaphras, our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ. Colossians 1:7

Very little is known about Epaphras, other than this mention here, again at the end of the epistle, and again at the end of Philemon. But Paul obviously put a great stock in this man and was pleased to mention his name to the folks in Epaphras’ hometown of Colosse. Paul appreciated him as a fellowservant and a fellow prisoner, and no doubt his company and spirit were a great comfort to Paul. But to Colosse, he is described as a faithful servant. There is a desperate shortage of men of his ilk these days.

In what ways was Epaphras faithful? For one, we know he was faithful in his responsibility to the Assembly in Colosse. Although he shared a prison cell with Paul in Rome, he remained faithful in prayer for his home Assembly. He also brought the Assembly’s needs before Paul, and as a result, we have this lovely epistle. Although no doubt lavish in his praise, Epaphras was honest in his description of Colosse’s saints. We need people like this today, to take a care and build up the Assembly, doing what they can to be a help.

I am sure that Epaphras was also faithful in his prayers for the Assembly. And he would have been faithful in his ministry to the saints there. He would have delivered clear, scriptural messages and faithfully corrected whatever wrongs he could discern and deal with. He was a faithful shepherd who cared for the flock. Assembly oversight could learn a few lessons from this good man.

Epaphras was undoubtedly also faithful in his devotion to and teaching about the Assembly. Amid all of the error that was floating through the early church, here was a voice that delivered sound instruction, clear regarding the divine principles of New Testament gatherings of the Lord’s people. As much as anything, we need men to teach these principles today, as young folk in our assemblies struggle with the identity of God’s Assembly.

Do you know a faithful servant such as Epaphras? Thank God for him. Are you a faithful servant such as Epaphras? I thank God for you. -Jim MacIntosh

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