In the end of the book to the Colossians the Apostle Paul gives his customary greetings to the Church that he is writing to. He names quite a few of the people who are with him, who take advantage of the opportunity to say “hello” to their friends in Colossi. Here is what verses 10 and 11 say:
My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) 11 Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. (Colossians 4:10-11 NIV).
These verses are beautiful because they reveal both the names of many devout Christians who are working together with the Apostle Paul to spread the gospel, and their common concern for the brethren at Colossi. Aristarchus is perhaps a prisoner in the same jail as Paul. Maybe he is another Christian who was likewise arrested for his faith, or perhaps just someone whom Paul converted in prison. Mark, the Cousin of Barnabas, is a man who may have been younger than Paul who eventually went on to write the Gospel of Mark in the New Testament. There was a time when Paul questioned Mark’s dedication to the ministry and refused to take him as a partner on his missionary journeys (Acts 15:37-40). Later, however, Mark proved himself to Paul as a dedicated worker (II Timothy 4:11). In this passage Paul makes it clear that no one is to harass Mark for his past failures. Rather, he commands them that if he comes to you, welcome him. Finally, Paul mentions a man named Justus. He, along with Mark, are both Jews. Paul points this out apparantly so that we can see that he was served faithfully by both Jewish and Gentile co-laborers. Both Jews and Gentiles can be heirs to the same promise of grace found in the blood of Christ.