God bless you and greetings in the name of Jesus Christ who promised the Comforter would come (John 14:26).
Paul sent his beloved Tychicus and Onesimus to the Colossians (Colossians 4:7-8) so that they could know how the Colossians were doing and comfort the Colossians’ hearts. A few verses later he speaks of three other believers.
Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;) 11 And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me.
Paul names three fellowworkers in the kingdom of God, which had been an amazing comfort unto to him. I expected the word for comfort to be paraklesis (like it was in verse 8), but when I checked it out it was parēgoria. This is it’s only use in the New Testament. It means “comfort,” “solace,” “relief,” and/or “consolation.” It is used of that which brings soothing relief, taking away unnecessary pain and discomfort. The English term paregoric, “soothing medication,” comes from this Greek word. It is common to rub a paregoric on the gums of teething infants, to bring soothing relief to irritated tissues.
Paul is in prison chained to a Roman guard. Irritated and inconvenienced he finds comfort in the three men whom God in His mercy and grace sends to act as a “paregoric” to Paul. They soothe him. They calm him down and refresh him in spirit.
They are completely opposite of Job’s three friends. Job referred to them as miserable comforters (Job 16:2) because they added to his grief instead of relieving it. All six were dear friends, but Paul got the better deal. His friends were a healing balm in his time of need, Job’s were not.
How would our friends speak of us? In their times of trouble do we end up being a healing balm or their biggest burden? We can hurt, or we can heal. We can be part of the problem or part of the solution. Because we have holy spirit and the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts (Romans 5:5), we can bring needed comfort to others.
God has also provided a paregoric to get us through our tough times. We can find it in each other.
II Corinthians 1:3-4:
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
We all will experience tough times. Wouldn’t it be great to have paregoric friends to sooth us when they come? Let’s be that paregoric when our friends are in need. Why not? We’re God’s best and certainly God blessed.