(1) Masters, treat your bondservants with justice and fairness, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.
Devote Yourselves to Prayer
(2) Devote yourselves to continuous prayer, being watchful with a thankful heart. (3) And as you pray, pray also for us, so that God will open a door of opportunity for us to proclaim the gospel (good news) of the mystery (deep truth) of Christ, for which I am in chains in Rome. (4) Pray that I will proclaim Christ in such a way that the gospel message will be clear to others, as I should.
(5) Interact with those who do not know Christ (unbelievers) with wisdom, making the most of every opportunity. (6) When you talk to unbelievers, make sure that your words are full of grace and seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to answer everyone who asks you a question.
Tychicus and Onesimus Are Visiting Colossae
(7) When Tychicus comes to visit you in Colossae, he will tell you all the news about me. He is a beloved brother, a faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord. (Tychicus, who was from Asia Minor, modern Turkey, delivered this letter to the believers in Colossae; see Ephesians 6:21). (8) I am sending him to you so that you will know about our circumstances in Rome, and that he may encourage (strengthen) your hearts. (9) Tychicus is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is a citizen from Colossae. They will tell you everything that is happening to us here in Rome. (Onesimus was the slave who ran away from Colossae and became a Christian under Paul in Rome. He was the subject of Paul’s letter to Philemon).
(10) My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark (the writer of the Gospel of Mark) , the cousin of Barnabas. I sent you instructions about Mark; if he comes to visit you, be sure to welcome him. (11) Jesus, whom we call Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my ministry partners for the kingdom of God. They have given me great comfort.
(12) Epaphras (who started the church in Colossae; see Colossians 1:7), who is a servant of Jesus Christ from Colossae, sends his greetings. He is always wrestling (fighting) in prayer for you, so that you will stand strong in God’s will, mature and full of assurance. (13) I can tell you that Epaphras is working hard for you in Colossae and for the believers in the neighboring cities of Laodicea and Hierapolis (modern Pemukkale). (Colossae, Laodicea, and Hierapolis are all located in the Lycus Valley of modern Turkey).
(14) Our dear friend and medical doctor Luke (Luke traveled with Paul, and was the author of the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts) and Demas (a few years later Demas deserted Paul; see 2 Timothy 4:10) send you greetings. (15) Give my greetings to my fellow believers in Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church that gathers in her home.
(16) After this letter has been read aloud to the church in Colossae, make sure that it is also read aloud in the church of Laodicea and that you also read the letter from Laodicea (possibly the letter of Ephesians). (17) Tell Archippus (see Philemon 2), “Make sure that you finish the ministry you have received from the Lord.” (18) I, Paul, write this final greeting in my own handwriting. Remember my prison chains. Grace be with you all!