Posted by: Brad Beaman | February 17, 2016

Aristarchus the Awsome leader

3I am in the midst of a study of those who were partners with the Apostle Paul. Aristarchus is mentioned five times by name in the Bible. With just this small glimpse we can piece together quite a bit about him. His name means “awesome leader”. This kind of meaning of names did not come lightly. Our first assumption is Aristarchus really was an awesome leader just like his name says. The little we read about him in the Bible bears this out.

Aristarchus was a Thessalonian (Acts 20:4). Now for the assumption. He was either in Thessalonica (refer to Acts 17:1-9) when the gospel took root there and a riot broke out or if that is not where he met Paul it would have been soon after on one of the nearby Greek cities like Berea, Athens or Corinth. By the time Paul was caught up in a riot in Ephesus Aristarchus was caught up in it right along with Paul.

Since Aristarchus was in Ephesus during this riot then he may have been with Paul for much or all of Paul’s two year Hall of Tyrannus School just outside the city. Maybe even as much as four years if he was with him from Paul’s visit to Thessalonica all the way to the riot in Ephesus.

After this riot Paul planned for some of his key disciples to meet him in Troas. Aristarchus attended the seven day Troas meeting (Acts 20:4). This is the meeting that at least one of the seven days went all night and the young man named Eutychus fell asleep and right out of a third story window and was restored to life.

Aristarchus must have accompanied Paul on the ship back to Jerusalem because he is with Paul when Paul sails to Rome. (Acts 27:2) Aristarchus was with the Paul again on his journey to Rome. So Aristarchus was privileged to the shipwreck and the incredible ministry at Malta.

Whether or not Aristarchus got on the ship with Paul as a prisoner he ended up a prisoner by the time he reached Rome. He was Paul’s fellow prisoner in Rome (Colossians 4:10)
Aristarchus is mentioned by Paul from his Roman prison as a fellow worker with Paul. (Philemon 1:124) He gave his greeting to the believers in Colosse which indicates he spent enough time with Paul in Ephesus to get to know the Colossians and possibly visit there.

All in all Aristarchus may have spent ten years with Paul and been right there when he raised the dead, shook off a poisonous serpent and accomplished much of his celebrated ministry. Aristarchus may have been with Paul as much as anyone was the last ten years of his life. He was very possibly there with Paul until Paul’s death in Rome. What an amazing life for a man only mentioned briefly five times in the Bible.

Here are the verses that mention Aristarchus by name.
Acts 19:29 Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia, and all of them rushed into the theater together.

Acts 20:4-6 When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said goodbye and set out for Macedonia. 2 He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece, 3 where he stayed three months. Because some Jews had plotted against him just as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided to go back through Macedonia. 4 He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy also, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia. 5 These men went on ahead and waited for us at Troas. 6 But we sailed from Philippi after the Festival of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven

Acts 27:1-2 When it was decided that we would sail for Italy, Paul and some other prisoners were handed over to a centurion named Julius, who belonged to the Imperial Regiment. 2 We boarded a ship from Adramyttium about to sail for ports along the coast of the province of Asia, and we put out to sea. Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, was with us.

Colossians 4: 10-12 My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) 11 Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.

Philemon 1:24-25 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. 24 And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers. 25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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Responses

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