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  • Writer's pictureBro. Caleb Taft

Knowing our King | Colossians 4:10 | Aristarchus my Fellowprisoner...

Today We want to look at another of God’s faithful servants, Aristarchus. All the names recorded in the closing of this letter have been eternally remembered as “Faithful servants and beloved brethren,” “Fellow-workers unto the Kingdom” and “Comforters.” We can rest assured this is not just the flattery of Paul but the stamp of approval by God, the Holy Ghost. Like the rest of Scripture, this list of names is meant to inform us and instruct us. From a careful study of these names and their mentions in the Scripture, we gain information about who they are, what they did, and all that they gave, and from this we have to amen the titles given to them and be instructed to live lives like theirs, surrendered to the will of God and the advancement of His Kingdom. 

Aristarchus was a Macedonian from the Church at Thessalonica [Act 19:29, Act 20:4]. He was a product of Paul’s second missionary journey. After finding no open doors in Asia and being forbidden by the Holy Ghost to preach in Asia, at the time, he heard and answered the Macedonian call and he found the gospel doors were wide open and the Church at Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, and Corinth were born from his obedience to the Macedonian call and the seedbed of the Gospel in Ephesus was cultivated on a short stopover on Paul’s journey home. Aristarchus is only mentioned a few times in scripture, Twice in the closing of letters [Phm 1:24, Col 4:10] and 3 times in the book of Acts [Act 19:29, Act 20:4, Act 27:2;]. From these mentions in the scripture one thing becomes very clear, Aristarchus was not afraid of trouble. He was with Paul through the riot at Ephesus, on the run with him as they fled to Berea, and he went through the shipwreck with Paul on his way to Rome. Some even say that according to Roman law he would not have been permitted to travel with Paul unless he had made himself a slave to Paul, that could be a possible explanation for Paul calling him his “Fellow-prisoner.” Either way, whether officially or unofficially it becomes clear that he was there to serve the Apostle through thick and thin and he is still with Paul serving him in his imprisonment, no wonder he is called a “comforter.” 

As I read the details of Aristarchus and the lot in the ministry he was given, I was reminded of all the “men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” Aristarchus was one of these, from riots, to hurricanes, to barbarian Islands and now Roman imprisonment he was a follower of the Lord and his men no matter the path, bound to the ministry and ministers, not by iron shackles but the yoke of Christ, not a prisoner of circumstance but providence. Perhaps he knew how much danger, affliction, and rejection Paul had suffered to deliver the Gospel to Thessalonica and he felt that the least that he could do was reciprocate that same sacrificial love shown to him. We know from 1 Thessalonians that the Thessalonians were a model Church and were known for their “labor of Love,” their “Work of Faith” and their “Patience of Hope” and that from them “sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia but in every place.” Aristarchus is the personification of his sending church, all the things said of his church seem to also be true of him as an individual. This is a lesson to those of us sent to foreign fields from our Local churches; let us represent the churches that sacrifice to send us well, and more importantly our Lord.  How we need more men like Aristarchus in our day, that are willing to travel the hard path of resistance for the sake of the Gospel and be "Fellow-prisoners" of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

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