“I am also sending Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, one of your own people. He and Tychicus will tell you everything that’s happening here. Aristarchus, who is in prison with me, sends you his greetings, and so does Mark, Barnabas’s cousin. As you were instructed before, make Mark welcome if he comes your way. Jesus (the one we call Justus) also sends his greetings. These are the only Jewish believers among my co-workers; they are working with me here for the Kingdom of God. And what a comfort they have been! Epaphras, a member of your own fellowship and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings. He always prays earnestly for you, asking God to make you strong and perfect, fully confident that you are following the whole will of God. I can assure you that he prays hard for you and also for the believers in Laodicea and Hierapolis. Luke, the beloved doctor, sends his greetings, and so does Demas. Please give my greetings to our brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church that meets in her house.” Colossians 4:9-15 NLT
Onesimus, a former run away slave, is now a faithful follower of Christ and, apparently, a familiar name among the Colossians. Tychicus is again mentioned as well. Aristarchus was a committed follower of Christ from Thessalonica. He is mentioned five times in the New Testament - Acts 19:29; 20:4; 27:2; Colossians 4:10; Philemon 1:24). Here in this passage (A.D. 60-61) Aristarchus was a fellow inmate of Paul in Rome. On this occasion Paul was not alone while in prison. Later, approximately four years (A.D. 64), Paul would once again find himself in a Roman prison. This tome he would be all alone. He would not come home the second time. He would write a farewell address to his protege, Timothy, in 2 Timothy just weeks before his death.Mark is mentioned here. Earlier in ministry Mark had deserted Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey (see Acts 13:13). Mark had apparently returned to his service in ministry. Isn't God's grace amazing? God had restored Mark. The Hebrew meaning of the name Mark is "Yahweh is Gracious". He would later write the gospel of Mark. Justus is mentioned (also called Jesus - not Jesus Christ). He could be the same one mentioned in Acts 1:23 as a considered replacement for Judas Iscariot.
Epaphrus, a native Colossian and faithful gentile servant of Christ, sends his greetings. He was a prayer warrior for his people. We certainly need these. Luke, the gentile doctor and stenographer, also sent his greeting. Lastly, Demas, a fellow ministry comrade, is mentioned. He sent his greetings as well. Sadly, when Paul writes 2 Timothy four years later, Demas had deserted him and pursued the things of this life (see 2 Timothy 4:10).We, too, have an opportunity to serve Christ our Lord. Will we be present and accounted for in our post of duty?
Rev. Curtis Norris