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"Marcus", undoubtedly John Mark, whose association with Paul in his missionary
efforts led to such serious consequences. He was a cousin of Barnabas (Col. 4: 10) and
cause of the contention between him and Paul (Acts 15: 36-40). His bad start however
was more than amended for later, and he is seen again here with Paul, and is later highly
commended by the Apostle (II Tim. 4: 11). His connection with Rome is interesting,
especially since his Gospel views the Saviour from the point of view of a servant (a
viewpoint well understood by the Romans with their system of slavery) and accords with
an early tradition that it was written to the Romans.
"Aristarchus" has three mentions in Acts (19: 29; 20: 4; 27: 2). He was a
"Macedonian of Thessalonica" and fellow traveler with Paul. On one occasion he
appears to have narrowly escaped death n the theatre at Ephesus.
"Demas", mentioned three times altogether (Col. 4: 14; II Tim. 4: 10; Philem. 24),
a "fellow labourer" at the time of Paul's first imprisonment, was possibly also a
Thessalonian. He forsook the Apostle at his hour of greatest need "having loved the
"Lucas"--"Luke, the beloved physician", writer of the Gospel bearing his name and
the Acts, and in contrast to Demas, remaining faithful to the Apostle right up to the end
(II Tim. 4: 11). As a doctor his association with Paul must have been of great comfort to
him and may be the reason for this being described as "the beloved (one)" (Col. 4: 14).
Paul's motive in referring to him as a physician may not be to distinguish him from
others of the same name, but rather as a reminder of his own obligations to him. Was he
behind the exhortation of I Tim. 5: 23?
"Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often
Did he have any part in the recovery of Epaphroditus, used by God as the earthly
channel (Phil. 2: 25-28)? The answers must remain a matter of conjecture. It ought to be
noted however that his activities were not confined to medical work--he is called "my
fellow-labourer" (Philem. 24) and as such undoubtedly had a share in the gospel.
The usual salutation (II Thess. 3: 17) finally closes the epistle:
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit" (25).