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Colossians 4:10-11

A Bonded Fellowship

10 Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;) 11 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.

Ask any soldier who has had combat experience and he will tell you that the bond between him and his fellow soldiers could not have been any stronger than it was during those critical moments when their lives were in grave danger. The same bond exists between Christians who have served and suffered persecution together in spiritual warfare.

Aristarchus had that kind of a relationship with Paul. Although we do not know much about him, Aristarchus was a native of Thessalonica (Act 20:4), and is also mentioned in Acts 19:29 as Paul’s companion in his travels. In Acts 27:2, he accompanied Paul in his voyage to Rome and was evidently imprisoned with him there. Thus, he conveys the message that Aristarchus, Paul's fellow prisoner, also sends his greetings.

"...and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas," This is the Mark who wrote the epistle. The Greek text has the word ἀνέψιος anepsios (an-eps'-ee-os) and "cousin" of Barnabas seems to be more correct. Mark had previously deserted Paul on his and Barnabas' first missionary journey. Three years later, Barnabas wanted to take him along again. "But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work."

Later, Paul forgave Mark, sending for him when he sent Tychicus to Ephesus (2Ti 4:11). Forgiveness was one of Paul's most outstanding character traits. "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." (Galatians 6:1) It appears that Paul had already sent instructions for the Colossian church to make Mark welcome and to work with him.

Justus was a Roman name, but this man was known as Jesus among the Jews. He was probably a Jewish convert who helped Paul and encouraged him in spite of the hostility that most of the Jews had toward him.

Aristarchus, Marcus and Jesus were Paul's only fellow workers in the gospel of the kingdom of God, and had also been a great comfort to him. This was a relationship that was built on a common passion... the love of Christ and the spread of His gospel. It was a loving and sacrificial bond that is commonly found among fellow combatants in wa. It is vital for all Christians to experience such a relationship with their fellow workers, because the time may come when this mutual love and support will be needed.

Before The Throne:

Are you doing spiritual warfare? Who are your fellow workers? Pray for them, for their protection from persecution and for them to have a loving bond like that of Paul and his friends. Pray for the work that you do together. Ask God to guide you in making important decisions for your ministry. Thank Him for strengthening you to accomplish the things He has called you to do.

For Further Study:

** Aristarchus. Acts 19:29; Acts 20:4; Acts 27:2; Phlm 1:24; ** saluteth. Ro 16:21-23; ** and Marcus. Acts 12:12; Acts 13:5, 13; Acts 15:37-39; 2Tim 4:11; 1Pet 5:13; ** receive. Rom 16:2; 2John 1:8; 2John 1:9

(v.11) ** who. Acts 10:45; Acts 11:2; Rom 4:12; Gal 2:7-8; Eph 2:11; Titus 1:10; ** fellow-workers. Col 4:7; 1Cor 3:5-9; 2Cor 6:1; Phil 4:3; 1Thess 3:2; Phlm 1:1; Phlm 1:24; ** a comfort. 2Cor 7:6-7; 1Thess 3:7;


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