Don’t be a Demas

Have you ever heard of Demas?

Paul had several fellow workers and companions whom he mentored over the years.  One of them was Luke, the physician, who wrote one of the Gospels.  Another was Mark, who also wrote the Gospel of Jesus.

But who was Demas?

At first, we hear only positive mentions – Colossians 4:14, Philemon 1:24.

But then towards the end of Paul’s ministry, in his last letter, Paul writes to Timothy, “Be diligent to come to me quickly; for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry” (2 Tim 4:9-11).

What a sad last reference of Demas.  He loved this present world, could not bear to share Paul’s suffering, and so left him in his last days of ministry.

What will keep us faithful in these last days of Christ’s ministry?

Mark and Luke kept the scars of Christ’s hands and feet ever in their minds – as they wrote the Gospels, as they contemplated His life and ministry, they understood the Master’s path of self-sacrifice.  They were willing to follow Jesus and now Paul to trial and suffering, saying with him, “I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:12,13).

But Demas thought about Earthly comfort, riches, and glory. He did not dream of the Heavenly world.  Love of this world left him a sad example in the records of Scriptures.

In order for us to avoid being a Demas, we must keep meditating on the example of Jesus.  Our Master calls us to take up our cross now – so that we can long for crown in the hereafter.  We must share our own Gospel stories – the good news of Jesus told from our eyes – to keep fresh before us the testimony of His mission.

May our records be – “Well done, good and faithful servant.. Enter into the joy of your Lord” (Matt 25:21).

Father God, keep my eyes on the example of Jesus – and dim all the allurements of the world.  I long for heaven. Amen.

 

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