Truth be told, Paul had loads of company. More often than not, others tagged along, locked in chains alongside the super-apostle. Aristarchus was just one of a myriad of these individuals who considered everything worthless compared to knowing Jesus and making Jesus known.
In Colossians 4:10 Paul lists off a pile of names connected to the Christians in Colosse. He quickly says: "Aristarchus, who is in prison with me, sends you his greetings." Ho hum. Just matter of fact. This is the way it is. And with a smile on his face and chains on his ankles, Aristarchus says "hello".
I’m struck by this simple greeting. No request for help ("Aristarchus, who is in prison with me, really wants to GET OUT! Please help him!!"), no request for prayer support, no pity party. Just "hello".
Aristarchus has shown up before, you know. In Philemon 24, Aristarchus lends his weight to Paul’s letter. In Acts 19:29 he was one of those seized in a riot in Ephesus where Christianity was beginning to flourish already. In Acts 20:4, having escaped with his life, he traveled with Paul through several regions encouraging the new churches and spreading the news about Jesus. In Acts 27:2, this man from Thesselonica accompanied Paul on his shipwrecked journey (as a prisoner?) from Israel to Rome.
What lessons for a Jesus Follower can be learned from Aristarchus?