Loyalty and Betrayal in the First Century- Part 2
Paul told Timothy that Demas had deserted him. With his next breath, Paul says, “Only Luke is with me.” What made Luke stick around? He had to know that his very acquaintance with Paul could have had him arrested and executed as well.
I think that Luke had tapped into something important here. Paul needed Luke, to be sure. With his execution looming on the horizon, Paul needed Luke’s help and friendship as he put his affairs and those of his churches in order. Paul also needed the emotional support of a loyal friend during these difficult days, someone that he could talk to and pray with.
That is all fine and good, but what was it that kept Luke from leaving, even for a “ministry trip,” like some of Paul’s other companions had done? The truth is, Luke needed Paul as well. It has been said that our destiny is directly related to those that we are connected with. Luke had been serving with Paul for over ten years by now and was commited to him and his vision. Luke was a loyal and faithful friend to the very end.
In the Old Testament, Elijah told Elisha three times to leave him. Each time, Elisha refused saying, “I will never leave you.” In staying with Elijah until he was taken up, Elisha received a double portion of his annointing. After a number of his followers deserted Him, Jesus asked the Twelve, “Are you going to go as well?” Peter’s answer was classic: “Where are we going to go? You have the words of eternal life.” Whether it was intentional or not, Luke’s faithfulness seemed to gain for him a double portion of Paul’s annointing. Luke’s two books make up 25 percent of the New Testament and are foundational to our understanding of Jesus and the the Early Church.
Have you ever caught yourself saying, “Do I go or do I stay?” Paul said, “Only Luke is with me.” This verse speaks volumes about Luke, Paul, and the importance of loyalty. How are you doing in the loyalty department?
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