Col. 4:10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, as does Mark the cousin of Barnabas, concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him.
Paul sends greetings to the church in Collosae from Aristarchus. He is a Macedonian from Thessalonica, possibly of Jewish ancestry. He journeys with Paul and during the riots of Ephesus is caught up by the crowd. Later we see him in Jerusalem when they return from Paul’s third missionary journey. Finally he goes to Rome with Paul where we discover that he is a fellow prisoner, jailed with the Apostle. Church tradition tells us that he is martyred in Rome by Nero. While this is all we know about him, he seemed to have faithfully served behind the scenes with Paul.
There aren’t very many people throughout history that are like the Apostle Paul. It seems that from time to time there will be a great religious leader through whom God will work to do powerful and amazing things. But these folks appear on very rare occasions. The day to day work of the Lord is accomplished by those who are willing to work behind the scenes, doing the difficult work, getting their hands dirty, and following Jesus out into the angry mobs.
Aristarchus took the brunt of the silversmiths’ anger in Ephesus so that Paul could be protected. He understood his role in the mission of God. He didn’t try to be Paul — but he appears to have done everything possible to make Paul’s ministry successful.
Social media tends promise to make everyone into a “star.” We can get attention for everything that we do — whether we want to or not. In some ways it feeds our egos, also producing a chemical response in our brains that makes us want to go back and get more and more likes — more and more attention — becoming validated by how the world responds to what we do.
I believe that Aristarchus intentionally served behind the scenes so that Paul’s work and ministry would be fruitful. He may have willingly gone to prison just to serve Paul. He gave his very life in service to Jesus and yet, most of us have probably hardly ever noticed his name.
Probably the most faithful servants of Jesus Christ are those who will never get the big “shout-outs” or attention. They are too busy serving the Lord faithfully, day in and day out to be bothered and so they continue to work behind the scenes, faithfully engaged in the mission of God.
Lord, I am grateful for your sons and daughters who faithfully serve you every day and may never be noticed. Amen.
If you would like to read more "Reflecting the Image" click on the image to take you to the NPH bookstore.The book is also available in Kindle format on Amazon.com.