Paul’s Companions

Timothy, my fellow worker, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my countrymen, greet you. I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle, greet you in the Lord. Gaius, my host and the host of the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the treasurer of the city, greets you, and Quartus, a brother” (Romans 16:21-23).

Much can be learned by the company a person keeps. Evil companions are never wise. Righteous friends and associates ever stimulate you to love and good deeds.

Timothy—Paul’s beloved son in the faith (2 Timothy 1:2) and kindred spirit (Philippians 2:20)—is described as his “fellow worker”. Timothy’s mindset toward Paul was like a son alongside his father in the family business (Philippians 2:22). Inspiration’s portrait of Timothy is of an invaluable spiritual asset to Paul and the cause of Christ.

Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater are described as Paul’s countrymen. Though Jewish in heritage, these Christian men were now a part of the New Testament’s chosen generation and holy nation, the church. It is possible that this Sosipater is the same man from Berea who accompanied Paul with Great Collection to Jerusalem (cf. Acts 20:4).

Tertius played a vital secretarial role in Paul’s work. Though information in the New Testament is scarce on the subject, at least one (and possibly more or all) of Paul’s epistles was physically put on parchment by the hand of another. This fact may provide some useful insight into Galatians 6:11.

The hospitable Gaius was a rich blessing to Paul and many other Christians. Whether this is the same Gaius that Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 1:14 cannot be known with absolute cer­tainty. If it is, however, this information will pinpoint Paul’s location as Corinth when this epistle was written.

Erastus was a brother in Christ who had been entrusted with important civic responsibili­ties. Who better to have as city treasurer than a Christian?

Quartus was a spiritual brother to Paul. No greater familial bonds can be found than those ties which make us spiritual kinsmen in Christ.

Hardworking. Responsible. Trustworthy. Hospitable. Spiritually minded. These are the men Paul kept company with.

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Author: jchowning

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