A Study Of Colossians 4:10-11

A Study Of Colossians 4:10-11

A study of Colossians 4:10-11 reveals the importance of second chances, willing ministry workers, and Christian support.

A study of Colossians 4:10-11 reveals the importance of second chances

V.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 and Jesus who is called Justus.

Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, appears in Acts 19:29 with Paul in Ephesus, and in Acts 20:4 and 27:2 as one of Paul’s travelling companions. Here Paul calls him a fellow-prisoner indicating he’s also confined with Paul.

The Greek word for “welcome” is dĕchŏmai, which means to accept and receive. But why did Paul ask the Colossians to accept and receive Mark? Perhaps because Mark had abandoned Paul and Barnabas on a previous missionary journey, which earned him a black mark with Paul. And Paul had possibly told others about Mark’s unreliability in ministry. But apparently, Mark had redeemed himself so Paul let the Colossians know Mark was back in his good graces.

Redeeming a Christian brother or sister

Mark was Barnabas’ cousin who caused a rift between Paul and Barnabas recorded in Acts 15:36-41. Barnabas wanted to take Mark on another missionary journey, but Paul objected since Mark abandoned them on the last one. The two men disagreed so they split and went separate ways. Paul took Silas and Mark accompanied Barnabas.

You’d expect Paul to show Mark a little more grace. Especially considering how much he wrote on the subject.

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. (ESV, Galatians 6:1)

Granted. The context in Galatians is about restoring a Christian brother that sinned. But the truth is we all sin, make mistakes, and disappoint others. But we serve a God of second chances. And that’s the whole idea behind Grace. Barnabas seemed to get this. Of course, Mark was also family and that probably helped. Although we don’t know how, somewhere along the way Mark proved himself and Paul’s faith in him as a ministry worker was restored.

A study of Colossians 4:10-11 reveals the importance of willing ministry workers

V.11 These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God…

“Men of circumcision” is a literal translation of the Greek word pĕritŏmē. It is another way of calling them Jews, which is how the NIV and other Bible versions translate it.

“Fellow workers” is the Greek word sunĕrgŏs, which means a co-laborer, companion in labor, and workfellow. In other words, Paul affirms the positive work ethic of his fellow workers. They rolled up their sleeves and assisted him in his ministry effort.

Today, it’s commonly said that twenty percent of a church congregation does eighty percent of the work and gives eighty percent of the money. The others occupy pew space. And Jesus appears to support the idea when he said, “the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” (ESV, Matthew 9:37)

The church, however, should function like a beehive of ministry where everyone participates. Paul describes it as one body with many parts in 1 Corinthians 12:12-14. We all have gifts and abilities to invest in God’s Kingdom and for His glory. And we experience the highest sense of purpose and fulfillment when we do.

A study of Colossians 4:10-11 reveals the importance of Christian support

And they have been a comfort to me.

“Comfort” is the Greek word parēgŏria, which means consolation, comfort, and an address alongside. The point is discipleship is a lifestyle of serving alongside others for the Kingdom of God. Not just when and where it’s convenient. But sacrificially.

But Jesus also said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (ESV, Matthew 16:24)

So, discipleship goes beyond donating money, inspirational social media posts, and encouraging words to the pastoral staff. It is a personal and sacrificial investment of time and energy. And working together in ministry as a body of believers.

And sometimes coming alongside another has very little to do with your gifts, abilities, or profound words. But simply the power of your presence. Because your presence as a Christ-follower includes the comforting presence of God’s Spirit.

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview. This blog is originally published here.

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