Greet

“Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you.”

This is the same doctor Luke who wrote the gospel of Luke and also the Acts of the Apostles. He records his observations and research with great and knowledgeable accuracy and his words have been kept for us by the Holy Spirit as the word of God. He was a medical doctor and a healer and trained as a Greek historian. This would explain his attention to detail which helps us to date and contextualise other scriptures. His work covers more than a quarter of the New Testament, which makes him the chief writer of the document. Luke is clearly identified as a Gentile disciple and addresses the issues of the two camps in his writings.

He worked closely and travelled widely with Paul as an evangelist and physician and perhaps attend to the Apostles needs, as he suffered from an ailment that he referred to as his “thorn in the flesh.” It was perhaps as eye complaint.

“For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me.”

Galatians 4:15

Perhaps Luke attend Paul as he suffered with this disability and treated him for the difficulties it made for the Apostle. Luke was a trusted and dear friend and brother as well as a healer and was an up-close record keeper of many important events in the life of Christ and the Apostles. He was not just loved by Paul, but was known by this title, “The beloved physician.” – not just a physician of the body but also of the soul. He is responsible for bringing many to faith in Christ and the building up of the saints in faith and love.

Demas is the same disciple who at one time deserted the ministry and the Apostle Paul because he wanted to follow the world and what it offered to him.

“for Demas left me, having loved this present world, and went to Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia.”

2 Timothy 4:10

Demas has been renewed and reinstated by the Apostle to his post in serving the Lord. It is for our blessing that these names are recorded here, that we may see the love of God at work in the lives of regular people like us with all their failings and mistakes. Some leaders are very strident in their judgement of those who fall and fail, and exclude people, who make mistakes and cause concern, but the Apostle Paul is so different. His human concern for all and his compassion for the person who fails is bourn out of his own sinfulness and the fact that he was the “chief of sinners” because he persecuted the church of God. God makes no mistakes in his Word nor does he mistakenly give credence to the people who wrote it. The compassion of the Lord is not less than sinful people, and the fact that Demas is included here is a comfort to the saints of God.