“and Jesus who is called Justus. These are my only fellow workers for the Kingdom of God who are of the circumcision, men who have been a comfort to me.”
Though these fellow workers mentioned here by Paul are his close confidants, labourers and suffering with him in the gospel, they are all of the circumcision, yet have given their lives over to the service of the Gentile believers. Their love is for the people of God and not just a sect that they could belong to. They view the church of Christ from the wide and inclusive perspective that all who believe are part of that kingdom and are precious together in the Lord. They have supported the Apostle Paul in his ministry to the Gentile people, and stood with him against those who would keep out the chosen and elect people, who are not of Jewish descent, from the church of Jesus Christ.
They are a reliable body of close friends who have supported him and encouraged him in the service of the Lord, and he to them. They have all suffered together and this has been a bond that has kept them close and in touch with each other, especially in their spiritual lives.
The name Justus, synonymous with Jesus or Joshua, was common in Jewish circles and denoted a man especially given over to righteous living and holiness of life. Some has the suffix “the just” attached to their names afterwards to demonstrate in their lives that they were devoted to godly living and devoted to God.
These names comforted the Apostle Paul with prayers, reading the Scripture, standing in for him and being a witness with him in the spread of the Gospel on Jesus the Christ. We are fortunate indeed if we have such support in our lives and Christian people who will stand with us and beside us. Nevertheless, when all desert us, we are never abandoned by our precious Lord Jesus, who is a constant and faithful companion and friend to His people.
Paul eventually felt the sting of rejection and isolation, but the Lord stood with Him in his difficulties when none else was able. He speaks of this in his letter to another brother in the Lord, Timothy.
“At my first defence, no one stood with me, but everyone deserted me. May it not be charged against them. But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message would be fully proclaimed, and all the Gentiles would hear it. So I was delivered from the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will rescue me from every evil action and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
2 Timothy 4:16-18
The message is everything. What happens to us is in the mercy of the Lord and the Lord will keep us when we are faithful to Him. We will find ourselves alone at times and in these days of great falling away, it is common, but the Lord stands with His people and will never leave us or forsake us…