Question: Where have all the old Christians gone?
Acts 21:15 And after those days we packed and went up to Jerusalem.
16 Also some of the disciples from Caesarea went with us and brought with them a certain Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we were to lodge.
After staying with Philip and receiving the warning from Agabus, Paul, his companions, some believers from Ceasarea, and Mnason traveled up to Jerusalem.
My commentary tells me this was about a 75 mile trip from Ceasarea to Jerusalem. They most likely carried the offerings that Paul collected along his third missionary journey to deliver to the poor saints in Jerusalem.
A disciple named Mnason of Cyprus caught my attention in this passage. He is called an early disciple in many translations. Some versions call him an old disciple. It appears he had a dwelling place in or near Jerusalem because they intended to lodge with him. Some think he may have been one of the original 70 disciples of our Lord about 20 plus years earlier. Mnason may have been old or early, but either way he had now been a Christian for a long time.
Do you spend time with mature Christians?
It is good to spend time with mature Christians. They are like mothers and fathers in The Lord. They have seen a lot of things in their lives. They have been through many tough trials. They have studied the scripture much over the years.
I appreciate our house church because it is a multigenerational group of believers. We have babies all the way up to mature folk meeting all together. We use to have Tom and his wife in our meetings. The two of them were a wealth of information and very mature in The Lord. Fortunately, we still have Brad’s mom with us who knows from experience the importance of prayer.
Mature believers, have you retired from serving The Lord?
Are you a mature believer? How are you being used to serve the church these days? Are you still outgoing and helping others, or have you become a little reclusive?
Don’t retire from The Lord’s service. Look at Mnason, he was lodging Paul and his companions. If Mnason was one of the 70 original disciples of the Lord, imagine the things he must of shared with the group which lodged at his home. And what about you? Your life experiences in The Lord are invaluable. Please don’t retire from serving The Lord, we need you! We need your knowledge, experience, and loving wisdom.
I think the church has been a little hurt by separating the older believers into their own Sunday School classes. I know we all need fellowship with our own peers, but those younger Christians really need those mature believers around as well.
Job 12:12 (NKJV)
12 With the ancient [is] wisdom; and in length of days understanding.
1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine:
2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience;
3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things—
4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
1 Tim 5
9 Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man,
10 well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.