Useful Bible Studies > Colossians Commentary > chapter 4

Greetings from the Jewish Christians with Paul in Rome

Colossians 4:10-11

Paul ends his letter with a series of greetings to the Christians in Colosse. The first of these are from the Jewish Christians who were with Paul in Rome. (The Jewish people, like Paul himself, are the people who belong to Israel. In the original language (Greek), Paul refers to circumcision, which is a minor operation on the male sex part. That is the mark of their nation’s relationship with God – see Genesis chapter 17).

In Rome, Paul lived as a prisoner in his own home, with a soldier who guarded him constantly (Acts 28:16; Acts 28:30). Aristarchus was a Christian prisoner in similar circumstances. It seems that the soldiers had permitted them to share the same home.

Mark is probably the author of Mark’s Gospel (the record of Christ’s life). Several years earlier, Mark had upset Paul when he (Mark) decided not to continue to travel with him (Acts 15:36-41). Clearly, Paul had now forgiven Mark. In a later letter, Paul will describe Mark as a useful helper (2 Timothy 4:11).

The mention of ‘Jesus called Justus’ reminds us that Jesus was a common name among Jewish people. It is in fact the same name as Joshua. This man’s other name, Justus, was also a common title among the first Christians (Acts 1:23; Acts 18:7). It describes a righteous person, in other words, someone who does good deeds for no personal benefit. He gladly chooses to help other people, and by that means he gives honour to God.

These men were Paul’s friends and helpers; but their work was much more important than that. Paul describes them as people who worked for God together with him.

Next part: More about Epaphras (Colossians 4:12-13)


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