That the Apostle Paul was truly a great man of God none can deny. He could say: “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” With heart aflame with love for Christ, and a burden for the souls of men, he traveled the whole known world proclaiming the message of God”s grace. He was a tireless worker but in all his labors, hardship and suffering he enjoyed the companionship of many friends and helpers.
It has been said that one can tell a man by the company he keeps. There may be some truth to this, for one can often see the mannerisms and character of a person reflected in their friends. The Psalmist could say: “I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of those that keep thy precepts” (Psalm 119:63). The Apostle Paul was also a companion of all those who feared the Lord and delighted in His Word. He was certainly a social person who prized highly his friends and fellow-helpers in the work of the ministry. In practically every letter he makes reference to his comrades and co-laborers and lauds them greatly. In the 16th chapter of Romans he mentions thirty-six of them by name. His companions were a tower of strength and encouragement to him.
It is hardly possible to mention all whose names are inscribed on the sacred page, but we have singled out a few who had a close working relationship with the apostle. We will endeavor to look at these, not simply from a historical and biographical perspective, but also from a practical point of view. The fine qualities that endeared them to Paul and made them great in the eyes of the Lord should challenge and inspire us.