Little Platoons

Colossians 4:7-18
These are the only Jewish believers among my
co-workers; they are working with me here
for the kingdom of God. And what a comfort they
have been! (v.11).

In his book, Waking the Dead, John Eldredge writes:
“When he left Rivendell, Frodo didn’t head out with
1,000 elves. He had eight companions. Jesus didn’t
march around backed by hundreds of followers either.
He had 12 men. . . . Though we are part of a great
company, we are meant to live in little platoons. The little
companies we form must be small enough for each of
the members to know one another as friends and allies.”
In the closing section of Colossians, Paul listed and
described his little platoon of friends and allies.

In describing his platoon, Paul used relational language.
He said Tychicus was a “dear brother, a faithful minister,”
and a “fellow servant” in the Lord (4:7 NIV). It was
probably Paul’s theology of equality that allowed him to
build a significant relationship with the slave Onesimus
(v.9; Philemon 1:10). The apostle called him “a faithful
and beloved brother.” Another platoon member was Mark
(Col. 4:10). This was the same Mark who abandoned
Paul in the middle of a mission. When he went AWOL, it
caused so much tension between Paul and Barnabas that
they ended up separating (Acts 15:36-39). The fact that
Mark was now ministering with (and to) Paul (2 Timothy
4:11) reveals that the two had renewed their relationship
through forgiveness and reconciliation.

In addition to Tychicus, Onesimus, and Mark, Paul also
listed Aristarchus, Jesus (who is called Justus), Luke, and
Demas (Colossians 4:10-14). Lastly, Paul wrote that Epaphras also cared for him
and the Colossians by praying “earnestly” for them (vv.12-13). The men made up a
small platoon, but it had a big relational impact on the apostle Paul.
As believers in Jesus, we’re called to live in little platoons as well. These
groups of growing Christians will thrive as we accept, forgive, serve, comfort,
pray for, and work hard for one another. —Marvin Williams

Read Romans 16 to view
another list of Paul’s
friends and how they
made a great impact on
his life and ministry.

Who are the members of
your little platoon? How
have they comforted,
served, accepted, prayed
for, and worked hard for
you lately? What kind of
platoon member are you?


God Of Broken by Dan Stevers