Luke, the beloved physician - This was undoubtedly the author of the Gospel which bears his name, and of the Acts of the Apostles. He is mentioned as the traveling companion of Paul in Acts 17:10, and appears to have accompanied him afterward until his imprisonment at Rome see II Timothy 4:11. From Colossians 4:11, it is evident that he was not by birth a Jew, but was probably a proselyte. He is supposed to have been a native of Cyrene, and to have died in Achaia, soon after the martyrdom of Paul, at the advanced age of 84. See Rob. Cal. Art. Luke. He is here mentioned as a physician, and in his Gospel, and in the Acts , there are incidental evidences that he was acquainted with the science of medicine, and that he observed the events which he has recorded with the eye of one who practiced the healing art. It is easy to imagine that the presence of a physician might have been of important service to the apostle Paul in his travels; and that his acquaintance with the art of healing may have aided not a little in the furtherance of the gospel. The miraculous power of healing, possessed by the Saviour and his apostles, contributed much to the success of their preaching; for the power of alleviating pain of body - of restoring to health by miracles, would not only be an evidence of the divine origin of their mission - a credential that they were sent from God, but would dispose those who had received such important benefits to listen attentively to the message of salvation. One of the best qualifications in missionaries in modern times, in order to gain access to the pagan, is an acquaintance with the healing art.
And Demas - Demas is mentioned in two other places, Philemon 1:24, and II Timothy 4:10. He is here spoken of with commendation as one in whom the apostle had confidence. Afterwards, when troubles thickened, he was not found proof to the trials which threatened him in Rome, and forsook the apostle and went to Thessalonica. He did this under the influence of the "love of this present world," or of life, evidently unwilling to lay down his life in the cause for which Paul suffered; see the notes at II Timothy 4:10. His departure, and that of the others on whom Paul relied in Rome, was one of the severest trials which he was called there to endure; see the notes at II Timothy 4:16.
Other Barnes' Notes entries containing Colossians 4:14:
2 Timothy 4:10
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