“And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision.  These only are my fellow-workers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me.”

         “And Jesus, which is called Justus,”  
         Literally:  “And Jesus, the {one} being called Justus”–Another illustration of the frequency of the name Jesus is seen in its derivitives
(Joshua,  or Jehoshua   or even Hosea)

The name Jesus was probably that which he bore among the Jews, with Justus  being his Roman name, and was probably that by which he was known among the Romans. It was not uncommon for Jews, especially “hellenized” Jews, to assume another name when one went among a foreign people.

         JESUS  (Grk.–Iēsous)– The Greek equivalent for the Hebrew name, Joshua, or Jehoshua.   The name JESUS literally means, “Jehovah Saves.”  This was a surname that was sometimes    given to men known as being remarkable for holiness and righteousness.

         JUSTUS  (Grk.–IIoustos)- That is, “righteous;” a common name among the Jews.  The name appears for two others in the N.T. (Acts 1:23; 18:7).  Justus was the name which this       one called “Jesus” bore among the Greeks and Romans.  The former of his names (Jesus) is the same as Joshua, and was a frequent name with the Jews, and the later name (Justus) is the Roman and/or Greek equivalent. Nothing more is known of this man Justus. 

Joseph, called Barsabas (literally:  “son of the father”), is surnamed Justus (Acts 1:23)Some expositors think that this man was the same with Justus of Corinth, whose house joined to the synagogue, and into which Paul entered (Acts `8:7), but that is  not known for certain. James, the brother of our Lord Jesus (after the flesh), was called by the Jews James the Just.   

         “who are of the circumcision”
         “being of the circumcision”–Meaning they are Jewish Christians.

         Keep in mind, that before Paul began his ministry, the only Christians in the  church were Jews.  Up to that time there was only one non-Jew  (gentile)  in the Church, i.e., the Roman centurion, Cornelius, and possibly his household (Acts 10). When James (who was a Jew) wrote his epistle it was only about three years after his half-brother, Jesus the Christ, had ascended into heaven, the church was then entirely Jewish, with them still mostly still living under the Mosaic Law.  James always did live under the Law.
        This implies that Epaphras, Demas and possibly Luke (vv. 12, 14) not of the circumcision,” i.e., were
gentiles. This may agree with Luke's Gentile name (the same as Lucanos), although he was probably wa “hellenized” Jew; that is, a Jew much influenced by the Greek (i.e., Hellenist) culture and speech.  He had probably been educated in the Greek medical schools of his day.

        Most Jews of that day, because of their businesses and trades, did have two names:  their Jewish name and a Greek name.  John Mark was such a “hellenist” Jew, with John (Johannan) being his Jewish name and Mark (Markos) being his Greek name.  Even the apostle Paul, who was a Jew, had two names:  Saul (his Jewish name) and Paulus (his Roman name).
        It is likely that by this time the church was a “mixed bag;” that is, consisted both of Jews “of the circumcision” and non-Jews.  Keep in mind that by this time the “Jewish” church was being phased out, and the modern non-Jewish church was just coming into existence.

“These only are my fellow-workers unto the kingdom of God,”
Literally:  “these only fellow workers for the kingdom of God”–

       ONLY:  (Grk.–monoi)–This word rendered as “only,” here, probably refers to the fact that they only of all the Jews who were at Rome assisted Paul in his work. Epaphras and Luke were also with him at Rome, and doubtless aided him.

         This may be because the Jewish teachers were generally opposed to Paul because of ministering to Gentiles (Phil. 1:15). Epaphras, etc., were also fellow laborers, but they were Gentiles. That is, only Aristarchuss Marcus, and Jesus Justus, who were formerly Jews or proselytes; for they were of the circumcision, and assisted Paul in preaching the Gospel among Jews.
        It is evident, therefore, that Peter was NOT now at Rome, (even though the Catholic religion claims that he was),  else he certainly would have been mentioned in this list.  :For that matter, there is really NO evidence that Peter ever saw Rome.  And as it cannot be proved that he ever was bishop or pope of that city, the keystone in the triumphal arch of the pope of Rome is pulled out  Therefore, this “building” of his supremacy cannot stand.

 “which have been a comfort unto me.”
Literally:  “who became a comfort to me”—Literally in the Greek, “which have been made," or "have become." That is, inasmuch as they have become a comfort to me.

The Greek implies comfort in forensic dangers; a different Greek word expresses comfort in domestic affliction. The more so because they were Jews. The other Jews in Rome stood aloof, and doubtless endeavored to augment the trials of Paul. Comp. Acts 28:23-29.  Under his afflictions and sufferings, by visiting him, conferring with him, praying for him, communicating to him, and laboring in the Gospel in his room and stead.

         COMFORT:  (Grk.–parêgoria)–An old word (here only in N.T.) from parêgoreô, “to make an address”, and is a medical term, which it means, solace, or relief.  Curiously enough our word paregoric comes from the Greek word (parêgorikos).

Literally, an address or an exhortation: an exhortation for the purpose of encouraging: hence a comfort. Plutarch, in his “Life of Cimon,” uses it with grief; a comfort, for grief; and in his “Life of Pericles,” of consolation for a dead son. Aretaeus, a medical writer, of the assuaging (i.e., easing) of a paroxysm (convulsion or seizure).

“Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”

“Epaphras, who is one of you,”
Literally:  “Epephras, he is one of you”–See 1:7 for previous mention of this brother who had brought Paul news from Colossae.  A native of some part of Phrygia, and probably of Colosse itself.  His name appears three times in the Biblical record (1:7; here in 4:12;  Philemon 23).  Paul gives us
four aspects o his life and ministry:

Epathras was from the Church at Colosse

“Epaphras, who is one of you,”–He belonged at Colosse, but was then with Paul at Rome (1:7). There is nothing which Christians so much desire for others, especially for their friends, and nothing for which they so earnestly pray, as that they may understand and do the will of God.

Epathras was a Servant of Christ

“a servant of Christ,
Literally:  “a slave of Christ”–The oldest manuscripts add “Jesus.”  A minister of the Gospel.  Not merely in the same sense as every believer is, but as he was a preacher of the Gospel, in which he faithfully served his Lord and master, Christ.  Earlier, Paul called him, “our dear fellow servant” (1:7).

“saluteth you”
Literally:  “greets you”–Sends his Christian respects to you, for whom he bore a sincere love and hearty affection,as appears by what follows:

Epathras was a Prayer Warrior

“always laboring fervently for you in prayers,”
Literally:  “always striving on your behalf in prayers”—Agonizing; very properly expressed by our translators, laboring fervently. The word denotes the intense desire which he had for their salvation; his fervent, earnest pleading for their welfare. Translate as Greek, “in his prayers.” 

         LABORING FERVENTLY:  (Grk.–agônizomenos)–Literally:  “He agonizes.  This Greek word expresses the expenditure of physical energy.  It involves the struggle of the mind and emotions (see 1:29). 

Epaphras shared Paul’s “conflict” (Grk.–agôna–2:1), over the heresy that was threatening the church there in Colosse.  Four features of his prayer ministry can be seen from this verse.
1.      His prayers were
constant and frequent“always” (Grk.–pantote)
2.      His prayers involved his total being–“laboring fervently” (Grk.–agônizomenos)
3.      His prayers were intercessory–“for you” (Grk.–huper humôn)

4.      His prayers were specific and for a definite purpose.
        a.      He requested that they “stand”

                This “stand” refers to their doctrinal integrity and basis of Christian behavior. 
                He did not want them to submit to the deceitful influence of the heretics.
       b.     He wanted them to have a “complete”
(Grk.–peplērōmenoi)–Literally:  “fully assured” stand.

              Their doctrinal convictions needed to become fully established so they would resist any pressure from error.

Four aspects of his prayer ministry are to be seen:

His Prayers were Constant and Frequent
“laboring fervently”–Always laboring fervently for you in prayers; in all his prayers, which were many and frequent, he never forgot his dear flock at Colosse, of which he was pastor, but strove with God for them, even to an agony, as the word signifies; he wrestled with the Lord as Jacob did, nor, as he, would he let him go without a blessing for this church; he was incessant, importunate, and fervent in prayer for them: and what he prayed in particular for them was,

         His Prayers Involved  the Effort of His Total Being|
        “that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”

        Literally:  “that you may stand full-grown and being complete in every will of God”–The oldest manuscripts read, “fully assured.”
        It is translated, “fully persuaded,” Rom. 4:21; 14:5. In the expression “perfect,” he refers to what he has already said, (1:28; 2:2; 3:14).   
              “Perfect” implies the attainment of the full maturity of a Christian. BENGEL joins “in all the will of God” with “stand.”

        That you may stand firm, perfectly instructed, and fully persuaded of the truth of those doctrines which have been taught you as the revealed will of God  This is such a persuasion as the Spirit of God, by means of the Gospel, gives to every sincere and faithful man; and from which arises the solid happiness of the genuine Christian.  They who argue against it, prove, at least, that they have not got it.
        This expresses his desire that they might keep their Christian principles unadulterated by the mixture of philosophy and outright heretical error, and completely perform the will of God in every respect. It is, however, a command of God that we should be perfect (see Matt. 5:48), and it is the highest wish of benevolence in reference to anyone that he may be complete in moral character, and may do all the will of God;

Epathras has a Great Concern of the Area Churches
“For I bare him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them {that are} in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.”

         “For I bare him record,”
         Literally:  “For I  testify to him”— Paul had had abundant opportunity to know what were his feelings in regard to these churches.

Paul was an eye and ear witness of his fervent prayers, his labor of love, and zealous affection for these saints and others; and therefore, as he judged he ought, he bears a testimony for him.

         “that he hath a great zeal for you,”
         Literally:  “that he has much zeal on your behalf”—A great desire to promote your welfare. 

             MUCH ZEAL:  (Grk.–zēlon polun)–The oldest manuscripts and Vulgate have “much labor” (polyn ponon).   It grieved him to see the believers being misled into error.

         “and them {that are} in Laodicea…Hierapolis,”
         Literally:  “and those in Laodicea…Hierapolis”–
Laodicea was the capital of the area of   Phrygia, and not far from Colosse.
         There was a church there, and
Hierapolis was another city near Colosse.

There were three cities located there in the Lycus valley:  Laodicea and Hierapolis faced in the valley on the north and south sides of the valley, about six miles apart.  Colosse was about eleven miles farther up the stream.
1.      Hierapolis owed its importance because of its warm mineral springs, its baths and its trade in dyed wools. 
        The name
Hierapolis means “sacred” or “holy city.”  It was given this name because it was the center of the worship of the Phrygian
Cybele, called the “mother of the gods.”
Laodicea is mentioned as one of the Seven Churches of Asia,  and the church that became apostate.
It is
the church that we find Christ standing outside of (Rev. 3:20) and knocking on the door of this church, trying to get back into His church.

          The name Laodicea comes from two Greek words laos, meaning “the people” (the source of our word, “laity,” and the Greek word, dikaō, meaning “to say; to dictate.” Put the two words together and you get Laodicea, which really means, “the people say”; or “the people dictate. Laodicea was a Greek colloquilism for, The Rights of the People.  This sadly describes the plight of so many of today's churches.  Pastors are afraid to preach against sin because the people, instead of the Holy Spirit, tell them what to preach. Everyone today seems to be clamoring for "my rightsand unconcerned about the rights of others.
          It is believed that these other two churches were probably founded by Epaphras, as the Church in Colosse had been founded by him. All the three cities were destroyed by an earthquake in A.D. 62 [TACITUS, Annals, 14.27]. Hierapolis was six Roman miles (a Roman Mile was about 5000 feet) north of Laodicea.

“Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.”

“Luke, the beloved physician,”– The author of the gospel which bears his name, and also the book of Acts.  Many expositors and Greek authorities consider that Luke also wrote the Book of Hebrewsbecause that book contains many medical terms and the Greek was too precise for Paul's writing.

         Many expositors consider Luke to be a gentile (a non-Jew) but I would strongly disagree with this assessment.  The fact that Rom. 3:1-2 says that the “oracles of God” were committed to the Jews, and the fact that Luke did write down some of the N.T. (“oracles” of God), this may point to the fact that Luke had to be a Jew–but a “hellenized” Jew.  At least that is the way I see it.
         Mentioned also in Philemon 1:24; II Tim. 4:11. Both Mark and Luke are with Paul at this time, possibly also with copies of their Gospels with them. The article here (repeated) may mean “my beloved physician.”  It would seem certain that Luke looked after Paul's health and that Paul loved him. Paul was Luke's hero, but it was not a one-sided affection. It is beautiful to see preacher and physician warm friends in the community.
        He is here mentioned as being a physician; and in his Gospel, and in the Acts, there are incidental evidences that he was acquainted with the science of medicine, and that he observed the events which he has recorded with the eye of one who practiced the healing art. It is easy to imagine that the presence of a physician might have been of important service to Paul in his travels, and that his acquaintance with the art of healing may have aided not a little in the furtherance of the gospel. The miraculous power of healing, possessed by the Savior and his apostles, contributed much to the success of their preaching; for the power of alleviating pain of body, of restoring to health by miracles, would not only be an evidence of the Divine origin of their mission–a credential that they were sent from God–but would dispose those who had received such important benefits to listen attentively to the message of salvation. One of the best qualifications in missionaries in modern times, in order to gain access to the heathen, is an acquaintance with the healing art.
        Think on this:  the Lord did not remove Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” but He did give him Luke the Physician to travel with him and treat him of the problem.  Many Christian physicians believe that Paul’s “thorn” was recurring bouts of malaria that was a result of his having lived in Tarsus.  Even today, the area around Tarsus is still a swampy mosquito ridden area rife with malaria.

        DEMAS (Grk.–Dēmas)–Just his name (which is a contraction of Demetrius), here but in II Tim.i 4:10 he is mentioned as one who deserted Paul. Demas is included among Paul's “fellow laborers” (Philemon 1:25), but afterwards a deserter from him through love of this world (II Tim. 4:10). He alone has here no honorable or descriptive title attached to his name. Perhaps, already,  his real character was betraying itself.

Demas is mentioned in two other places, Philemon 1:24, and II Tim.4:10. He is here spoken of with commendation as one in whom the apostle had confidence. Afterwards, when troubles thickened, he was not found proof to the trials which threatened him in Rome, and forsook Paul and went to Thessalonica. He did this under the influence of the “love of this present world,” or of life evidently unwilling to lay down his life in the cause for which Paul suffered. His departure, and that of the others on whom Paul relied in Rome, was one of the severest trials which he was called there to endure.