Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pilgrim's Progress - Demas

Pictured at the left is John Bunyan in prison, perhaps writing The Pilgrim's Progress as his beloved blind daughter Mary clings to his side. He did not love this world, he did not forsake Christ for the treasures of this world. He did not listen to Demas for all the freedom this world had to offer. I sometimes try to think of Bunyan like this as I read and discuss with my little girls, The Pilgrim's Progress.

No more in the Plain called Ease, temptation comes and and our Heroes encounter Demas:

Then Christian and Hopeful outwent them again, and went till they came at a delicate plain, called Ease, where they went with much content; but that plain was but narrow, so they were quickly got over it. Now at the farther side of that plain was a little hill, called Lucre, and in that hill a silver-mine, which some of them that had formerly gone that way, because of the rarity of it, had turned aside to see; but going too near the brim of the pit, the ground, being deceitful under them, broke, and they were slain: some also had been maimed there, and could not, to their dying day, be their own men again.

Then I saw in my dream, that a little off the road, over against the silver-mine, stood Demas (gentleman-like) to call passengers to come and see; who said to Christian and his fellow, Ho! turn aside hither, and I will show you a thing.

Christian: What thing so deserving as to turn us out of the way to see it?

Demas: Here is a silver-mine, and some digging in it for treasure; if you will come, with a little pains you may richly provide for yourselves.

What a temptation is this? Please note to see the silver mine they must TURN OUT OF THE WAY. And Hopeful is beginning to succumb:

Hopeful: Then said Hopeful, let us go see.

Praise God, for a faithful brother to check us.

Christian: Not I, said Christian: I have heard of this place before now, and how many there have been slain; and besides, that treasure is a snare to those that seek it, for it hindereth them in their pilgrimage.

And so Christian converses some with Demas that Hopeful might learn and ourselves:

Then Christian called to Demas, saying, Is not the place dangerous? Hath it not hindered many in their pilgrimage? Hosea 9:6.

Demas: Not very dangerous, except to those that are careless; but withal he blushed as he spake.

Interesting, how Demas blushed. Is this some indication that he knew he lied? Some hint of that former conscience? Whatever it may be Christian is not fooled.

Christian: Then said Christian to Hopeful, Let us not stir a step, but still keep on our way.

Hopeful: I will warrant you, when By-ends comes up, if he hath the same invitation as we, he will turn in thither to see.

Hopeful now seeing their danger, and remembering just what kind of principals Byends held to predicts Byends fall here.

Christian: No doubt thereof, for his principles lead him that way, and a hundred to one but he dies there.

Demas: Then Demas called again, saying, But will you not come over and see?

Christian: Then Christian roundly answered, saying, Demas, thou art an enemy to the right ways of the Lord of this way, and hast been already condemned for thine own turning aside, by one of his Majesty’s judges, 2 Tim. 4:10; and why seekest thou to bring us into the like condemnation? Besides, if we at all turn aside, our Lord the King will certainly hear thereof, and will there put us to shame, where we would stand with boldness before him.

Demas cried again, that he also was one of their fraternity; and that if they would tarry a little, he also himself would walk with them.

Christian: Then said Christian, What is thy name? Is it not the same by which I have called thee?

Demas: Yes, my name is Demas; I am the son of Abraham.

Christian: I know you; Gehazi was your great-grandfather, and Judas your father, and you have trod in their steps; it is but a devilish prank that thou usest: thy father was hanged for a traitor, and thou deservest no better reward. 2 Kings 5:20-27; Matt.26:14,15; 27:3-5. Assure thyself, that when we come to the King, we will tell him of this thy behavior. Thus they went their way.

I liked how Bunyan joined Judas, and Gehazi with Demas. We read the whole account of Elisha, Naaman, and Gehazi from 2Kings 5.

Demas like Talkative earlier does prove scary to me. And because of him, my girls and I had some talk on the doctrine of the perseverance of the Saints. We talked about election, we talked about the ransom price. We talked about the atonement accomplished. We talked about the gift of the Father to the son and how all that the Father giveth to the son shall come to him, and for the one who comes, Jesus is both able and willing to receive him and will in no wise cast him out. Comforting truths to me, comforting to my girls as we consider Demas and are warned away from the love of this present world.

Col 4:14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.

Philemon 1:23-24 There salute thee Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus; Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow laborers.

2Ti 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

And so Hopeful's prediction proved true:

By this time By-ends and his companions were come again within sight, and they at the first beck went over to Demas. Now, whether they fell into the pit by looking over the brink thereof, or whether they went down to dig, or whether they were smothered in the bottom by the damps that commonly arise, of these things I am not certain; but this I observed, that they were never seen again in the way. Then sang Christian,

“By-ends and silver Demas both agree;

One calls, the other runs, that he may be

A sharer in his lucre: so these two

Take up in this world, and no farther go.”

1John 2:15-17


Anonymous said...

very nice picture
thanks so much for

Anonymous said...

oh I forgot to mention
Your insight was perfect
I loved it.It was well put.
Thank you for every little piece