If you were to read Paul’s letters in order – you would find that during the writing of his first letter, Galatians, “all the brothers” were with him. A large group. Maybe they were enamored with this murderer turned missionary. Perhaps they didn’t know how difficult the journey would become. There’s often comfort in a crowd. For whatever reason, there were a lot of people.
Colossians was the 8th letter (out of 13.) We see that the crowd has dwindled a little. So much so that Paul can list each man by name.
Then, by 2 Timothy – the final letter – we see the words, “Luke alone is with me.”
Some had probably been imprisoned. Perhaps some had died or begun ministering elsewhere.
But the one that stood out to me was Demas (v 14). Demas sent his greetings while Paul was writing Colossians but, in 2 Timothy 4:10, Demas has deserted Paul.
For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica.
Demas deserted while Luke remained loyal.
Demas fell in love with the world while Luke remained in love with the Word made flesh.
Demas fell away quickly while Luke followed closely.
It’s a warning to us of what can happen when we take our gaze off of Christ. When we become enamored by the world. When we aren’t completely committed. When we haven’t decided, on the front end, that there is no one else who holds the words of eternal life (John 6:68).
Lord, give us the strength and endurance to remain faithful.
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