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Read Introduction to Philemon


“…as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow laborers.”



Colossians 4:10 mentions Aristarchus with Mark.  Aristarchus was a fellow prisoner with Paul.  He was a Macedonian (Ac 19:29) who lived in Thessalonica (Ac 27:2) and a close associate with Paul.  He went with Paul on his collection mission to Rome. 

Ac 19:29, “So the whole city was filled with confusion, and rushed into the theater with one accord, having seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians, Paul’s travel companions.”

Ac 27:2, “So, entering a ship of Adramyttium, we put to sea, meaning to sail along the coasts of Asia. Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, was with us.”


Demas here is commended as a “fellow laborer” of Paul.  Later he became infamous for defecting from Paul.  Paul censured Demas in 2 Timothy 4:10 as forsaking him because he loved this present world.  However, at this point, he is Paul’s “fellow worker.”  Demas started well, but he did not finish well. 


Luke is the “beloved physician” and evangelist.  He was a Gentile doctor and author of the gospel of Luke.  Two of this list of five wrote two of the gospels.  Luke was a constant companion of Paul and was with Paul in Rome (Co 4:14; 2 Ti 4:11).  Luke suffered many trials with Paul.  Note the “we” passages in the book of Acts (16:20,21,27,28).  This indicates that Luke was with Paul on his second missionary journey.  He was also with Paul in Jerusalem (Ac 20:6) and on the voyage to Rome (Ac 27).  He was with Paul in Paul’s final imprisonment (2 Ti 4:11). 

my fellow laborers

These last four people were Paul’s “fellow laborers.”  These were people engaged in the cause of Christ.  They all knew Philemon personally

Notice the words “fellow laborer” (v. 1), “fellow soldier”(v. 2), “fellow prisoner” (v. 23), and “fellow laborers” in this verse.  Paul is interested in companionship in ministry. 


God uses teams to do His work. 


God uses teams to accomplish ministry.  Some of us are so independent that we cannot work with anyone.  What are you doing shoulder to shoulder with someone else to do the work of Christ? 

Mark started poorly but ended well.  Demas started well but ended poorly.  It is important to finish our service for Jesus Christ well.