10 Aristarchus … sends you his greetings; and also Barnabas’s cousin Mark .… 11 and also Jesus who is called Justus; these are the only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are from the circumcision, and they have proved to be an encouragement to me (Colossians 4).
The word “encouragement” is found only in this one place in our bibles. Like so many other Greek words it is made up of a preposition attached to a noun, in this case literally meaning “beside or near the market place.” The idea is companionship, that wherever you went, you had friends who went with you—even just to go shopping.
Yet we know that Paul did not go to the market place just to do some shopping. No, he went there to do some evangelizing—and these three (Aristarchus, Mark, and Justus), who were “from the circumcision” (that is, they were converted Jews), were always there to help him.
Lord, thank You for companions such as Paul had. Help us This Day to be true and faithful companions, too. Amen.