| || |An Alphabetical Analysis Volume 10 - Practical Truth - Page 99 of 277 INDEX | |
title (2 Cor. 8:23), and certain of the circumcision who are mentioned in
Colossians 4:10,11. Timothy also is given this title in 1 Thessalonians 3:2,
so is Philemon and a number of others including Luke (Philem. 1 and 24).
These are some of the ways in which Paul refers to his companions. May
the very reading of the passages stimulate fuller and more faithful service.
We have considered four titles given by the apostle Paul to his
companions in labour, which by their composition with sun, 'together with',
emphasize the idea of fellowship. These four titles are sunkoinonos,
partaker, companion, one who has fellowship; suzugos, yokefellow; sunathleo,
fellow -striver; and sunergos, fellowworker. There is one other title
similarly composed, and in order to make our study complete we must give it
Sunaichmalotos, 'fellowprisoner' (Rom. 16:7; Col. 4:10; Philem. 23).
The word aichme, meaning 'a spear' is from akme, 'a point', and is found in
our language in the word 'acme'. When Paul refers to himself as 'the
prisoner of Jesus Christ', or of the Lord, in Ephesians 3:1; 4:1; 2 Timothy
1:8 and Philemon 1 and 9, he uses desmios, a word that emphasizes the 'bonds'
that went to make up his imprisonment. To this aspect of his imprisonment he
refers several times in his epistles, speaking of his 'bonds' four times over
in Philippians chapter 1 and, with a touch of pathos, he refers to them in
Colossians 4:18, saying 'remember my bonds'. Again, in 2 Timothy 2:9 and
Philemon verses 10 and 13 mention of his bonds is made.
It is this word which we associate with Paul's prison ministry. He
had, however, suffered imprisonment many times before the occasion chronicled
in Acts 28. We read of his imprisonment in Acts 16:23; 22:29 and 24:27,
while in 2 Corinthians 11:23, when comparing his experiences with that of
other apostles, he wrote: 'in prisons more frequent'. We do not know how
many times Paul suffered this indignity, but both before and after Acts 28,
certain faithful souls shared imprisonment with him. The first to be
mentioned are found in Romans 16:7:
'Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who
are of note among the apostles, who were also in Christ before me'.
It is difficult to decide whether by the word 'kinsmen' the apostle
intends us to understand that Andronicus and Junia were simply Israelites
(Rom. 9:3), or that they stood in the nearer place of relatives, as may be
indicated by the use of the same word in Romans 16:11,21. In Mark 6:4 and in
Acts 10:24 the meaning is, undoubtedly, 'relatives', and we are inclined to
believe that Paul means us to understand that these 'fellowprisoners' were
relatives, and he tells us that they had been Christians longer than he.
When Paul intends to describe the national relationship of an Israelite and
not his kinsfolk, he uses the expression, 'of the circumcision' (Col. 4:11).
It is an encouraging thought that apparently some of Paul's kinsfolk were
amongst the earliest believers on the Lord, and had probably prayed for Saul
at the very time he made havoc of the church. What joy would be theirs, even
in prison, to go over the wonderful ways of God, and how their tears would be
'lustred by His love' as they reviewed the grace of the Lord.
Aristarchus, the next to be mentioned, is introduced into the pages of
Scripture at a perilous moment. Evidently there had been a rush to the