"A comfort to me..."
Text: Colossians 4:11
A CHALLENGING LIFE AND MINISTRY
The apostle Paul had a very challenging life and ministry. He served the Lord faithfully and fruitfully in many fields of ministry. His main ministry was as an apostle and teacher to the Gentiles (2 Timothy 1:11). However Paul also sought to bear witness to fellow-Jews. In the following text we have a short list of names of those who served with him in his attempts to lead his countrymen to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you,
with Mark the cousin of Barnabas (about whom
you received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him),
and Jesus who is called Justus. These are my only
fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are of the
circumcision; they have proved to be a comfort to me.”
a) Little is known about him.
b) He was honoured by being called “fellow prisoner”.
c) He sent personal greetings to the Colossian Church.
2. “Mark the cousin of Barnabas”
a) He is called John Mark (Acts 12:12).
b) He accompanied Barnabas and Saul as their assistant (Acts 13:5).
c) Mark was the bone of contention between Paul and Barnabas.
i) Paul did not want to have Mark on the missionary team in the second missionary journey.
ii) Barnabas insisted that Mark should be included (Acts 15:36-41).
iii) Paul thought poorly of Mark because he left their team on the first missionary journey (Acts 13:13).
d) Paul now commended Mark.
i) His words were full of grace and salt.
ii) He wrote to the Colossians to welcome Mark if he came to them.
3. “Jesus who is called Justus”
a) Little is known of him.
b) He is named as one of the few fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are of the circumcision.
GRACIOUS WORDS INDEED
Paul declared that each member of his team “proved to be a comfort” in ministry. He demonstrated how one may practise the use of good Christian speech in life and ministry.