“For I testify about him, that he has great zeal for you, and for those in Laodicea, and for those in Hierapolis.”
Paul is incredulous of the life and ministry of his friend Epaphras, due to his devotion to the Lord and His work in this world. Paul sees and hears that zeal even as Epaphras prays for the work of God and the Christian believers in the churches. Epaphras has a real and genuine zeal for the Lord which shows itself in all of his life. He loves the people of God and wants the pinnacle of spiritual life for each one of them. He is zealous for their spiritual growth and sanctification and most probably was active in bring many of them to Christ and it tutoring them in the way of the Lord.
Paul pays great attention to the prayers of Epaphras and recognises the depths of the work of God in his life. His life is full of the zeal of the Holy Spirit as was the life of our Lord Jesus.
“His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will eat me up.”
As it is in Christ, the zeal for the service of the Lord has consumed Epaphras and it shows itself in his work for the Lord and in his prayers.
There were Christians in other places who also benefitted from the zeal of Epaphras. Laodicea and Hierapolis were towns nearby and many of them were also converts because of the labours and prayers of Epaphras. His scope was wide and not limited to one place or one group of people.
Epaphras was also in prison with Paul at that time, but Paul does not mention it here. Perhaps he thought the people would be so upset by the news, such was the godly regard and love that Epaphras enjoyed.