“…Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me…Only Luke is with me.” (NRSV 2 Timothy 4:10,11)

Apart from the fact that St Luke wrote not only the Gospel which bears his name but also the first history of the Church – the Acts of the Apostles – we know very little about him.  However, St Paul’s description of him as the beloved physician (Colossians 4:14) tells us not only that he was a doctor but also that he was a very lovable sort of person.  And it is that side of his character which emerges in his writings.  There he is revealed as a gentle, friendly, happy soul who has left an example for us all to follow in his true love for Our Lord Jesus Christ and in his trusty loyalty to his fellow Christians.

Those attractive qualities were the fruit of that virtue which is the essential foundation of the Christian character – the virtue of humility and self-forgetfulness.  Although he himself had so large a share in the events which he describes, yet he never once mentions himself.  When in the Acts of the Apostles he cannot avoid betraying his presence, he does so simply by changing the word “they” in the narrative to “we” – never I, never Luke.

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