2 Tim. 4:10
For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.
2 Timothy is the last letter Paul wrote and it was written in Paul’s second imprisonment. A person was mentioned in 4:10, Demas. Who is Demas? Is he a bad guy? What does it mean by “in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica”?
To your surprise, Demas was actually a coworker of Paul. In two of the four Prison Epistles, he was mentioned. In Philemon 23-24, “Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.” In Colossians 4:14, “Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas.” Demas was with
Paul when he was in his first imprisonment. We don’t know what role Demas played during Paul’s first imprisonment. But he was probably well-known to others and a faithful helper at that time as Paul mentioned his name in these two letters.
But see what happened now? He deserted Paul. The word “desert” is also translated as “to leave, leave behind, forsake, or abandon” and has a sense of willfully doing it. The Bible tells us Demas loved the present world. Facing the temporal enjoyment of the world and the difficulty and challenges of ministry, Demas decided to leave a faithful ministry partner.
Dear brothers and sisters, let us be a faithful Gospel partner of one another. During this pandemic, our faith is challenged and the world may give us a promising future. But hold on to God. Be on guard. Be careful how you walk. If Demas, one of those who stayed by Paul in his first imprisonment, can leave him, it could happen to us. May God have mercy on us!
～Rev. Clement Woo 胡嘉明牧師～