His name only appears twice in the Bible—once in Colossians and once in Philemon.
It’s an unusual name for sure. I can only guess how to pronounce it. So I’ll call him Archie.
Near the end of Colossians, Paul stops and speaks directly to Archie, encouraging him to finish the work he started.
“Tell Archippus: ‘See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord’” (Colossians 4:17).
I confess that, in the past, I used to skim over the opening and closing statements in the New Testament letters. This is probably why I never noticed Archie before. He’s tucked in there, right before the very last verse.
But one day, his name popped out.
I was intrigued. So I looked him up. But I couldn’t find much information on him. No such thing as a Facebook info page back then.
All that is really known about Archie is that he was a notable member of the church in Colossae, and he received a call from God to do a specific work for the Kingdom. Other than that, we don’t know much about him. We don’t even know what he was supposed to do, but whatever it was, we know that he needed to finish it.
Perhaps Archie experienced opposition, and he needed some encouragement to press on.
Perhaps Archie simply lost interest in his work, and his fervor sort of fizzled.
Perhaps Archie got busy with regular life, and he just plain forgot.
Or maybe Archie was still going strong, and Paul just wanted to say: Keep on keeping on, Brother!
Whatever the case, I am glad to know that there are people who may not ever make the headline news, yet they too have received a work from the Lord.
Doing great things for God may go unnoticed by human eyes, but that doesn’t make these things any less important to God. Many people today are being faithful to finish the work they received from the Lord. Too often, though, we only hear about the “famous” believers—the ones traveling the globe with speaking engagements or stadium-filling concerts.
On Mondays, I have been writing about the hidden heroes in my life, those who have ministered to me personally in some heroic way. But there are also hidden heroes in the Bible. They’re not well-known like Moses or David. But they were faithful to finish the specific task God gave to them.
I thank God for including Archippus in the canon of Holy Scripture. He is a great reminder to all of us—whether famous or nameless—that we too have received a work from the Lord. And the verse in Colossians 4:17 encourages, not only Archippus, but also each one of us to finish the work that God has called us to.
Right now, I have a writing task that is requiring my full attention. I am editing the memoir of a missionary couple who have spent forty years overseas in a part of the world that is closed to the Gospel and hostile towards Christians.
Their stories are amazing. But this project is enormous. I have over 700 single-spaced pages awaiting me. So I need to heed Paul’s encouragement to Archippus and focus all of my available energy to finishing this task before me.
Thus, for the next week or more, I am going to take a brief hiatus from blogging, just so I can devote myself wholly to finishing this missionary’s memoir.
Do you have a task that is just waiting to be finished?
Do you have a favorite “hidden hero” in the Bible?