The People Paul Surrounded Himself with

 

Col 4:7-18closeColossians 4:7-18 Final Greetings Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here. 10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), 11 and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. 14 Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. 16 And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.” 18 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you. (ESV) closeColossians 4:7-18closeColossians 4:7-18 Final Greetings Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here. 10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), 11 and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. 14 Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. 16 And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.” 18 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you. (ESV) Final Greetings Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here. 10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), 11 and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. 14 Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. 16 And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.” 18 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you. (ESV)

7As to all my affairs, Tychicus, our beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will bring you information. 8For I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts; 9and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of your number. They will inform you about the whole situation here.

10 Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, sends you his greetings; and also Barnabas’s cousin Mark (about whom you received instructions; if he comes to you, welcome him); 11 and also Jesus who is called Justus; these are the only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are from the circumcision, and they have proved to be an encouragement to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I testify for him that he has a deep concern for you and for those who are in Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14 Luke, the beloved physician, sends you his greetings, and also Demas. 15 Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea and also Nympha and the church that is in her house. 16 When this letter is read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodicea. 17 Say to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.”

18 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my imprisonment. Grace be with you.

There is an atmosphere to this next set of passages that I didn’t think I would see and honestly, that I hadn’t expected to teach in the way I am about to teach them.  I am not so sure that this passage is about the theology of Paul, but rather the relationships of the people who Paul surrounded himself with.

There is a trait here that shows the kind of people Paul encircled himself with.  Another way of saying this is that Paul had some good brothers in Christ who were important to his well being.  Let me say that a person who loves people will have friends.  Friends he needs to have around him when times are difficult.  Paul was not a lone ranger.  He had his Tonto, his RinTinTin, his SamWise, his Hick Finn and others.  He was wise enough not to attempt work without someone beside him.

  • Tychicusa person whom Paul trusted. Paul had someone in his life who he knew would appropriately take care of his affairs.  He is know as one of the two who carried some of Paul’s letters to the churches, along with Onesimus.  The fact that he is mentioned first indicates that it was someone that Paul held in high esteem, no doubt because of his character trait of being Paul’s “beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord.”  Tychicus had also been one of those who carried Paul’s letters.  RC Sproul writes about him from the book of Ephesians – “This passage informs us that Paul sent his epistle to the Ephesians with the assistance of Tychicus as his courier (Eph. 6:21closeEphesians 6:21 Final Greetings 21 So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. (ESV) closeEphesians 6:21closeEphesians 6:21 Final Greetings 21 So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. (ESV) Final Greetings 21 So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. (ESV) –22). In the first-century Roman Empire, personal friends and co-workers of the letter writer would deliver mail from one person to another. This custom was introduced by Caesar Augustus, and it was designed in part so that the courier could answer any questions the recipients might have about the sender. Tychicus was one of Paul’s fellow ministers, a believer who was originally from the province of Asia (Acts 20:1closeActs 20:1 Paul in Macedonia and Greece 20:1 After the uproar ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and after encouraging them, he said farewell and departed for Macedonia. (ESV) closeActs 20:1closeActs 20:1 Paul in Macedonia and Greece 20:1 After the uproar ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and after encouraging them, he said farewell and departed for Macedonia. (ESV) Paul in Macedonia and Greece 20:1 After the uproar ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and after encouraging them, he said farewell and departed for Macedonia. (ESV) –5). Although we do not know a lot about him, it is clear that he was important to the apostle’s ministry, for Paul mentions his activities in 2 Timothy 4:12close2 Timothy 4:12 12 Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. (ESV) close2 Timothy 4:12close2 Timothy 4:12 12 Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. (ESV) 12 Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. (ESV) and Titus 3:12closeTitus 3:12 Final Instructions and Greetings 12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. (ESV) closeTitus 3:12closeTitus 3:12 Final Instructions and Greetings 12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. (ESV) Final Instructions and Greetings 12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. (ESV) as well as in Colossians 4:7closeColossians 4:7 Final Greetings Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. (ESV) closeColossians 4:7closeColossians 4:7 Final Greetings Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. (ESV) Final Greetings Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. (ESV) –8. Incidentally, the text of Colossians 4:7closeColossians 4:7 Final Greetings Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. (ESV) closeColossians 4:7closeColossians 4:7 Final Greetings Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. (ESV) Final Greetings Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. (ESV) –8 and the text for Ephesians 6:21closeEphesians 6:21 Final Greetings 21 So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. (ESV) closeEphesians 6:21closeEphesians 6:21 Final Greetings 21 So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. (ESV) Final Greetings 21 So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. (ESV) –22 are nearly identical in the original Greek. It is almost as if Paul’s secretary, or even Paul himself, wrote the greeting in the letter to the Colossians and then copied it to the epistle to the Ephesians, or vice versa. This corroborates the theory that Ephesians and Colossians were written at the same time, and it may even provide some strong evidence that Ephesians is equivalent to the letter from Laodicea mentioned in Colossians 4:16closeColossians 4:16 16 And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. (ESV) closeColossians 4:16closeColossians 4:16 16 And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. (ESV) 16 And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. (ESV) .

    Tychicus was sent not only to bring the letter but also that the Colossians might have more information about Paul’s condition in prison. In Paul’s mind, this would greatly encourage his readers (Col. 4:8closeColossians 4:8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, (ESV) closeColossians 4:8closeColossians 4:8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, (ESV) I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, (ESV) ). Thus, even as he suffered for the gospel, the apostle was working hard to set a good example of all the things he spoke about. In sending word about his condition, the apostle would help his readers to develop empathy and solidarity with him, and the Ephesians would learn how the great love of Jesus was operating as Paul was in prison.”

  • Onesimusa new convert who would be a faithful messenger – Onesimus’ name is derived from a root that means “beneficial,” “profitable,” “useful” or “helpful” but they all have the same idea but the question is this; were these statements about Philemon’s slave and how he was beneficial or helpful to Paul or was it his actual name? Could this have been this runaway slave’s Christian name? It is not clear. It seems that Onesimus was a runaway slave and truly the subject of the book of Philemon.  Paul desired to keep Onesimus with him because he was serving him in prison (Philemon 1:13closePhilemon 1:13 13 I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, (ESV) closePhilemon 1:13closePhilemon 1:13 13 I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, (ESV) 13 I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, (ESV) ) but didn’t want to keep him if Philemon didn’t give his permission as he writes “I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord” (1:14). Upon Onesimus’ return, Paul asked Philemon to “receive him as you would receive me” considering they were partners in Christ (1:17). If nothing else, Paul said he would repay him for Onesimus’ service (1:19) which could mean that Onesimus had apparently stolen some of his owners property so that he’d have the funds necessary to run away.  From what I have learned in the past, it is very likely that Onesimus was converted during his flight from slavery, and once he was a child of God, the servant of God (Paul) instructed him to return to Philemon. He is proof that no matter the cost to God’s child, and for Paul it meant giving up someone he loved to return to slavery, doing the right thing should be our choice. Paul shows two things here – that he was involved in personal evangelism and that he was involved in helping others get their lives back into place.

 

  • Aristarchus – A person who stands by Paul
    He is mentioned along with Gaius as having been seized by the excited Ephesians during the riot stirred up by the silversmiths (Acts 19:29closeActs 19:29 29 So the city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed together into the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul's companions in travel. (ESV) closeActs 19:29closeActs 19:29 29 So the city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed together into the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul's companions in travel. (ESV) 29 So the city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed together into the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul's companions in travel. (ESV) ). They are designated “men of Macedonia, Paul’s companions in travel.” We learn later that he was a native of Thessalonica (Acts 20:4closeActs 20:4 Sopater the Berean, son of Pyrrhus, accompanied him; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy; and the Asians, Tychicus and Trophimus. (ESV) closeActs 20:4closeActs 20:4 Sopater the Berean, son of Pyrrhus, accompanied him; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy; and the Asians, Tychicus and Trophimus. (ESV) Sopater the Berean, son of Pyrrhus, accompanied him; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy; and the Asians, Tychicus and Trophimus. (ESV) ; Acts 27:2closeActs 27:2 And embarking in a ship of Adramyttium, which was about to sail to the ports along the coast of Asia, we put to sea, accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica. (ESV) closeActs 27:2closeActs 27:2 And embarking in a ship of Adramyttium, which was about to sail to the ports along the coast of Asia, we put to sea, accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica. (ESV) And embarking in a ship of Adramyttium, which was about to sail to the ports along the coast of Asia, we put to sea, accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica. (ESV) ). The two were probably seized to extract from them information about their leader Paul, but when they could tell nothing, and since they were Greeks, nothing further was done to them. The people who seized Aristarchus were not known for their kindness in questioning prisoners.  Perhaps the one thing that protected him was that he was Greek, but that might have been what didn’t make sense about this.  Jews were not ‘brothers’ with Greeks, and yet Paul valued this man who had suffered because of his affiliation with the apostle.

    When exactly Aristarchus attached himself to Paul is not known, but after the Ephesian uproar, he remained in Paul’s company. He was one of those who accompanied Paul from Greece via Macedonia (Acts 20:4closeActs 20:4 Sopater the Berean, son of Pyrrhus, accompanied him; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy; and the Asians, Tychicus and Trophimus. (ESV) closeActs 20:4closeActs 20:4 Sopater the Berean, son of Pyrrhus, accompanied him; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy; and the Asians, Tychicus and Trophimus. (ESV) Sopater the Berean, son of Pyrrhus, accompanied him; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy; and the Asians, Tychicus and Trophimus. (ESV) ). He preceded Paul to Troas, where they waited for him, then traveled with him to Palestine. He is next mentioned as accompanying Paul to Rome (Acts 27:2closeActs 27:2 And embarking in a ship of Adramyttium, which was about to sail to the ports along the coast of Asia, we put to sea, accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica. (ESV) closeActs 27:2closeActs 27:2 And embarking in a ship of Adramyttium, which was about to sail to the ports along the coast of Asia, we put to sea, accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica. (ESV) And embarking in a ship of Adramyttium, which was about to sail to the ports along the coast of Asia, we put to sea, accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica. (ESV) ). There he attended Paul and shared his imprisonment. He is mentioned in two of the letters of the Roman captivity, in the Epistle to the church at Colossians 4:10closeColossians 4:10 10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), (ESV) closeColossians 4:10closeColossians 4:10 10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), (ESV) 10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), (ESV) , and in the Epistle to Phm (Philemon 1:24closePhilemon 1:24 24 and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. (ESV) closePhilemon 1:24closePhilemon 1:24 24 and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. (ESV) 24 and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. (ESV) ), in both of which he sends greetings. In the former Paul calls him “my fellow-prisoner.” According to tradition he was martyred during the persecution of Nero.

  • Mark – the friend who was restored
    The story of John Mark is interesting and I believe most of us are familiar with it. It is a story about a person who lost the trust of Paul early in the missionary travels only to become an important part of the ministry.  Paul mentions him here and other places with words that tell us that Paul’s heart towards Mark had softened.  From his refusal to take Mark along on his second missionary journey to the comment in 2 Timothy where Paul pays Mark his final tribute; he is “useful for ministering” so useful that his ministry is a joy to the veteran’s heart.  Maybe Mark was one of those people who taught Paul the lesson of the power of the gospel in the heart of all men.  Was Mark one of those people who reminded Paul of his ability to get some things wrong?  When Paul looked at Mark, did he see his own inability to get it right 100% of the time?  And I don’t believe that Mark was one of those people who made Paul uncomfortable because of his failure, because Mark brought Paul joy.
  • Epaphras – a warrior in prayer
    Epaphras was the missionary by whose instrumentality the Colossians had been converted to Christianity (Colossians 1:7closeColossians 1:7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf (ESV) closeColossians 1:7closeColossians 1:7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf (ESV) just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf (ESV) ), and probably the other churches of the Lycus had been founded by him. In sending his salutation to the Colossians Paul testified, “For I testify for him that he has a deep concern for you and for those who are in Laodicea and Hierapolis ” (Colossians 4:13closeColossians 4:13 13 For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. (ESV) closeColossians 4:13closeColossians 4:13 13 For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. (ESV) 13 For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. (ESV) ). Epaphras had brought to Paul good news of the progress of the gospel, of their “faith in Christ Jesus” and of their love toward all the saints (Colossians 1:4closeColossians 1:4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, (ESV) closeColossians 1:4closeColossians 1:4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, (ESV) since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, (ESV) ). Paul’s regard for him is shown by his designating him “our beloved fellow-servant,” “a faithful minister of Christ” (Colossians 1:7closeColossians 1:7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf (ESV) closeColossians 1:7closeColossians 1:7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf (ESV) just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf (ESV) ), and “a bondservant of Christ Jesus” (Colossians 4:12closeColossians 4:12 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. (ESV) closeColossians 4:12closeColossians 4:12 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. (ESV) 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. (ESV) margin). The last designation Paul uses several times of himself, but only once of another besides Epaphras (Philippians 1:1closePhilippians 1:1 Greeting 1:1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: (ESV) closePhilippians 1:1closePhilippians 1:1 Greeting 1:1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: (ESV) Greeting 1:1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: (ESV) ). Epaphras as much as anyone else mentioned in the NT, was a church planter with a very wide impact on the unconverted world in the domain of church planting.  He was along with Paul, one of the elite of the 1st Century church planters and movers of the early church.
  • Luke – a physician beloved
    He is the more or less the constant companion of Paul from Philippi on the return to Jerusalem on the 3rd tour till the 2 years in Rome at the close of the Acts. He was apparently not with Paul when Philippians 2:20closePhilippians 2:20 20 For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. (ESV) closePhilippians 2:20closePhilippians 2:20 20 For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. (ESV) 20 For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. (ESV) was written, though, as we have seen, he was with Paul in Rome when he wrote Colossians and Philemon. He was Paul’s sole companion for a while during the 2nd Roman imprisonment (2 Timothy 4:11close2 Timothy 4:11 11 Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. (ESV) close2 Timothy 4:11close2 Timothy 4:11 11 Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. (ESV) 11 Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. (ESV) ). His devotion to Paul in this time of peril is beautiful. Luke is most likely the one who prolonged the life of the apostle by enforcing a doctor’s care over Paul.  He was the one who told him when to take rest, when to follow a cure, when to slow down and watched over the things that Paul was otherwise too busy or pre-occupied to do.  He was the friend who put his arm around the shoulders of Paul and said we need to find a place to spend the night and get some rest. And no doubt by being there, provided another part of the balance that Paul needed.
  • Demas – who loves those far away
    According to Colossians 4:14closeColossians 4:14 14 Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. (ESV) closeColossians 4:14closeColossians 4:14 14 Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. (ESV) 14 Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. (ESV) 2 Timothy 4:10close2 Timothy 4:10 10 For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. (ESV) close2 Timothy 4:10close2 Timothy 4:10 10 For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. (ESV) 10 For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. (ESV) ; Philemon 1:24closePhilemon 1:24 24 and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. (ESV) closePhilemon 1:24closePhilemon 1:24 24 and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. (ESV) 24 and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. (ESV) , Demas was for a time a “fellow-worker” with Paul at Rome (Col, Philem), but at last, “having loved this present world,” forsook the apostle and betook himself to Thessalonica (2 Tim). No other particulars are given concerning him. But we know this, that not everyone who started with Paul, stayed with Paul.  In 2 Timothy Paul says “for Demas, having loved this present [b]world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica.”  There is no doubt pain in those words that are hard to understand.  But that was not the case when Paul wrote this letter.  Demas wanted to be remembered to the church of Colossians. And Paul, though sitting in a prison, takes the time to add a note from Demas in this letter.
  • Archippus – a minister at risk
    Not much is known except this warning from Paul. What can we surmise from this?  That there was a risk that he might not complete the task he had been given.  What was the nature of this risk?  Nothing is known but whatever it was, in endangered his ministry.  Most things that endanger a minister come from within.  Paul had as much outside opposition as a person could, but it didn’t endanger his ministry.  Most of the things that put us to risk come from the inner defeats not the outer attacks. Paul could most likely have warned all ministers that their ministry was at risk, and that we must “Take heed to the ministry.”

 

So what is the point of this passage?  Why are we given this glimpse of the circle of companions around the life of the apostle?  I think we are to see that believers are not islands.  The most productive of men in the church have friends, they are not isolated from others but they have people who surround them and who they learn to lean on.  Our strength is that we can realize we are weaker without each other.  Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.”  So not only did God make a woman to be with man, but he made the woman who would make more and more people.  Our strength is that we can realize we are weaker without each other.

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