Don’t Let Your Good Friend Down - Life Lessons From Demas

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading


Who was Demas? 

It is interesting to note that the name Demas means “The governor of the people.”  But he not only did not live up to his name, but he was a man who could not even govern himself.

He is only mentioned three times in the New Testament. But there is intrigue and mystery and disappointment surrounding him. What happened? Where did he go wrong?

Demas first appears in the Bible when he was in Rome during the Apostle Paul’s first imprisonment (AD 60-62).  He is first mentioned in the book of Colossians, where he is listed with Dr. Luke and Epaphras (4:12-14), where they are set in contrast with the three Jewish believers, Aristarchus, Mark, and Jesus – called Justus, mentioned previously (4:10, 11). Apparently, Demas was a visiting missionary at one time to Colossae, which was nestled in the Lycus Valley, because they knew him, thus Paul’s greetings to them.

This passage also seems to indicate that Demas was a Gentile. 

In the greetings to Philemon, Demas is included in the statement that he is a fellow laborer with Paul (Philemon 1:24). 

The Greek word for “fellow-laborer” is sunergos and has the idea of a co-worker. This word reflects the fact that Demas was no slouch. He was every bit as critical as those who were listed together with him.

W. D. Thomas points out that the word implies that “two people are working closely together as partners, sharing work and responsibility.  There is even the suggestion of equality in the word co-worker.”  He goes on to say that Demas was a “close confidant of Paul, sharing the Apostle’s vision of winning the world for God”

Just imagine being in the company of such notables as Paul, Luke, Mark, and even Aristarchus and Epaphras!! Demas enjoyed such a privilege. Demas was not just along for the ride; not just a curious by-stander. He was involved in the ministry of the Lord, which, specifically, would have been largely evangelistic in nature.

So his initial start seems to have been good.

When we look at Demas, we see that he was not a new convert. He was not a lazy Christian. Demas was one of the most compelling missionaries to probably one of the most demanding missionary leaders in the history of the church, the apostle Paul. We know that Paul got upset at Mark and sent Mark away. For Demas to be in Paul’s missionary circle, he must have been an amazing missionary. 

But as close as Demas was to Paul and as much as he grew in the Lord, apparently it did not last, for in 2 Timothy 4:10 we read these words, “Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world,” 

Quote: It is important to start right, but it is imperative to end well. - William Clubertson

Prayer: Lord I pray that You would help me never to lose my love for You and fall away. Amen