In last week’s post, I referenced relationships in the life and ministry of the Apostle Paul. Scripture does not hold back from the good and the painful, and Paul’s relationship with Demas was certainly a sorrow. In the final chapter of his final New Testament epistle, Paul mentions Demas with these parting words, “Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica.” (2 Timothy 4:10)
Paul’s ministry was marked by crushing disappointments, as well as great joys and triumphs. There are a number of instances in his letters where he writes about those who stood in the gap on his behalf. Men and women who cared for him when life and ministry were hard.
In Romans 16, Paul references 27 men and women by name along with many others associated with them. His network of friends was vital to sustaining the demands of his ministry. How can we not be moved by these references in Romans 16 where he spoke of these brothers and sisters with such love: (more…)