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Lessons From Bible Characters: Demas

Chris Woodward
Reporter for One News Now

Many people view the Bible as being full of rules and regulations. While there are commandments given by God, the Bible is also full of character studies that benefit each and everyone one of us. We just need to read the Bible to see what is in store for us. In a recent post, I outlined a few lessons that stood out to me from the life of Rebekah. Today, I would like to share a few thoughts on Demas.

Demas was one of Paul’s companions

While Demas may not be as well-known as others in the Bible, he does get more mentions than some of the disciples. For example, Demas is mentioned in three verses as opposed to Matthias, the guy picked to replace Judas and then seemingly drops off the face of the Earth.

We know from Colossians 4:14 that Demas traveled with Paul and Luke: “Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.”

Paul and Demas were so close that the apostle considered Demas a fellow laborer: “Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellow-laborers." (Philemon 1:24 KJV)

Take a moment and consider the following: Would your pastor or small group leader consider you a fellow laborer? When was the last time you helped do things at church? Moreover, when was the last time you did something for your church?

There’s an age-old saying that 10 percent of people at church do 90 percent of the work. If you are among those 10 percent, great. If you are not, contact church staff and let them know you’d like to help with whatever is necessary. No, that does not mean you should fix toilets if you are not a plumber, but you can sweep or mop the restroom and make sure there is plenty of soap, paper towels, and toilet paper. The same goes for replacing air filters, making coffee, and greeting people at the door. It may not be the most exciting work, but that does not mean it is not helpful. We should be as helpful as possible. We should also be consistent.

Demas was not consistent

While he was known of Paul and got a few shoutouts, Demas eventually abandoned the apostle. 

“For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica.” (2 Timothy 4:10 KJV)

I know that church can sometimes feel like a routine. It might even feel like work. As a result, some people just want to take a break from time to time and stay at home as opposed to attending a service, choir practice, or helping with cleanup day every spring or fall. We have all been there, but it is important that we be consistent in our service and not get caught up in the ballgame or fishing trip or whatever it may be that keeps us from serving. 

That is apparently what happened to Demas. He probably grew tired and didn’t feel like getting on the boat for another trip. He may have said, ‘I don’t feel like walking another mile today.’ Who knows? Maybe he saw something in a town that caught his eye or reminded him of someplace he once lived or dreamed of visiting. That’s what happened to Lot. After some of his servants got into a spat with some of Abram’s servants, Abram suggested Lot pick a place and move to that location:

“And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.

And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.

Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.

And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.

Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.” (Genesis 13:7-11 KJV)

Lot picked Sodom and Gomorrah because they reminded him of Egypt. You might say it reminded Lot of the world. 

Demas also went his own way. Something - we are not exactly sure what - drove him to leave Paul. Don’t let one of the last things people hear or read about you be that you abandoned someone. 

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