Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.
(Philemon 1:24), perhaps Demetrius. Is the curt mention of this man contrasted with the full affectionate recognition of St. Luke the cloud no bigger than a man's hand which prepares as for the subsequent darkness that hangs over him? (2 Timothy 4:10).
(Bishop Alexander.)We know no more about him except the melancholy record, "Demas hath forsaken me," etc. Perhaps he was a Thessalonian, and went home. His love of the world was his reason for abandoning Paul. Probably it was on the side of danger that the world tempted him. He was a coward, and preferred a whole skin to a clear conscience. In immediate connection with the record of his desertion we read, "At my first answer, no man stood by me, but all men forsook me." As the same word is used, probably Demas was one of those timid friends whose courage was not equal to standing by Paul when he thrust his head into the lion's mouth. Let us not be too hard on a constancy that warped in so fierce a heat. He may not have been an apostate Christian, though he was a faithless friend. Perhaps, away in Thessalonica, he repented him of his evil, and perhaps Paul and Demas met again before the throne, and there clasped inseparable hands. Let us not judge a man of whom we know so little, but take to our selves the lesson of humility and self-distrust. That world that was too strong for Demas will be too strong for us if we front it in our own strength. It is ubiquitous, working on us everywhere, and always like the pressure of the atmosphere upon our bodies. Its might will crush us, unless we can climb to, and dwell on, the heights of communion with God, where pressure is diminished. It acted on Demas through his fears. It acts on us through our ambitions, affections, and desires. So, seeing that miserable wreck of Christian constancy, and considering ourselves lest we also be tempted, let us not judge another, but look at home. There is more than enough there to make profound self-distrust our truest wisdom, and to teach us to pray, "Hold thou me up and I shall be safe."
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.