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.
Ah, mission work… What a life Paul lived!
Always in unfamiliar surroundings and far from home. The rigors of travel, different cultures and strange food!
But Paul is a great student of Jesus. The Teacher promised that anyone who leaves the comforts of home and family for the sake of teaching the Gospel will be blessed. Reimbursed a hundred times for the sacrifice!
Jesus is always right! And now Paul knows from experience. He has hundreds of fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers. The people he has led to faith in Jesus!
Paul literally has a hundred homes open to him. Hundreds of gardens filled with produce are his. Thousands of hearts filled with love for him because of the message of hope he has shared.
And here we have the names of a few of Paul’s special friends. Those whose faith and devotion moved them to forsake their homes also. These traveling companions multiply his effectiveness in teaching.
But there is an additional burden for Paul. He is under almost constant threat of death, as the enemies of the Message of Jesus seek to destroy the man who leads so many to become students of Jesus.
Through these trials, his companions also serve as bodyguards. Paul is comforted and no doubt emboldened to have them at his side. He is not alone!
This is all highly reminiscent of the ministry of Jesus. Though constantly under verbal and physical threats, the Twelve traveled with Him. Believed in His mission and supported Him.
Bodyguards? Perhaps. A source of strength? Undoubtedly!