Wesley's Notes on the Bible
Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.
4:1 Just - According to your contract. Equitable - Even beyond the letter of your contract.
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
4:3 That God would open to us a door of utterance - That is, give us utterance, that we may open our mouth boldly, Eph 6:19, and give us an opportunity of speaking, so that none may be able to hinder.
That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
4:6 Let your speech be always with grace - Seasoned with the grace of God, as flesh is with salt.
All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:
Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts;
With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.
Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)
4:10 Aristarchus my fellowprisoner - Such was Epaphras likewise for a time, Phm 1:23. Ye have received directions - Namely, by Tychicus, bringing this letter. The ancients adapted their language to the time of reading the letter; not, as we do, to the time when it was written. It is not improbable, they might have scrupled to receive him, without this fresh direction, after he had left St. Paul, and departed from the work.
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.
4:11 These - Three, Aristarchus, Marcus, and Justus. Of all the circumcision - That is, of all my Jewish fellowlabourers. Are the only fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God - That is, in preaching the gospel. Who have been a comfort to me - What, then, can we expect? that all our fellowworkers should be a comfort to us?
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.
4:12 Perfect - Endued with every Christian grace. Filled - As no longer being babes, but grown up to the measure of the stature of Christ; being full of his light, grace, wisdom, holiness.
For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.
Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.
4:14 Luke, the physician - Such he had been, at least, if he was not then.
Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.
4:15 Nymphas - Probably an eminent Christian at Laodicea.
And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.
4:16 The epistle from Laodicea - Not to Laodicea. Perhaps some letter had been written to St. Paul from thence.
And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.
4:17 And say to Archippus - One of the pastors of that church. Take heed - It is the duty of the flock to try them that say they are apostles to reject the false, and to warn, as well as to receive, the real. The ministry - Not a lordship, but a service; a laborious and painful work; an obligation to do and suffer all things; to be the least, and the servant, of all. In the Lord - Christ by whom, and for whose sake, we receive the various gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.