Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.  As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ.And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

When I’ve read this Scripture in the past I have always assumed that those who were more confident in speaking the gospel were those not in chains.  Clearly we know that this was partly the case as we read of people who were preaching the gospel out of false motives trying to stir up trouble since Paul was in chains (1:17).  But after reading it and rereading it, I wonder if Paul is maybe here talking about other brothers and sisters who were in chains for Christ?  Those also in prison who are now more encouraged to speak the word of God without fear?  They had heard Paul preaching the gospel, and now maybe they were provoked to do the same for their guards.  I don’t know…but it’s something to think on.