Colossians 4:10, 11
Aristarchus my fellow prisoner salutes you, and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, (touching whom you received commandments…
The Epistle ends with salutations, first from three Jews, and then from three Gentiles.
I. THE THREE JEWISH FRIENDS OF THE APOSTLE.
1. Aristarchus. "Aristarchus my fellow prisoner saluteth you." He was a native of Thessalonica (Acts 20:4), who accompanied the apostle in his third missionary journey. He was seized along with the apostle at Ephesus (Acts 19:29), and accompanied him in his voyage to Rome (Acts 27:2). He now shared the apostle's imprisonment at Rome. Adversity does not lessen his affection for the apostle.
2. Marcus. "And Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (touching whom ye received commandments; if he come unto you, receive him)." This was the author of the second Gospel, who was associated with the apostle in his earlier missionary labours, and afterwards forsook him at Pamphylia, under circumstances that led to a rupture between Paul and Barnabas (Acts 15:39). He is now affectionately commended to the Colossians - for he had evidently recovered the confidence and love of the apostle - as "one useful to him for the ministry" (2 Timothy 4:11). Mark was now resident in Rome. It is not possible to know what were the commands which the apostle had sent to the Colossians concerning him; probably they were to bespeak a hospitable reception for him, as the Pauline Churches may have suspected his fidelity.
3. Jesus. "And Jesus, which is called Justus." He is only mentioned in this place. He is not probably the same as Justus of Corinth (Acts 18:7). He was attached to the apostle. It is curious that a disciple who bore the name of our Lord should have also borne his title of "the just one."
II. THE APOSTLE'S HIGH COMMENDATION OF THE THREE FRIENDS, "These only are my fellow workers unto the kingdom of God, men that have been a comfort unto me."
1. They were Jews. "Who are of the circumcision."
2. They were exceptions to the rule of anti-Pauline animosity on the part of Christian Jews. The exception is limited, probably, to those Jews in Rome, who preached Christ "through strife and envy," hoping thus to "add affliction to his bonds" (Philippians 2:20). But these three comforted him by hearty cooperation and their kindly sympathies. The best and greatest men need the comfort of the very humblest, who in their turn rebuke the conduct of those who grieve God's servants and are thorns in their sides. - T.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)