Described as “an old disciple,” Mnason came into the life of Paul at a needy hour. Friends tried to dissuade him from going up to Jerusalem where bonds awaited him, but like his Master before him, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem. Thus this early disciple from Cyprus accompanied Paul on his last journey, and Paul lodged at his hospitable home (Acts 21:16). The figure of Mnason is drawn in the slightest possible outline “with a couple of hasty strokes of the pencil.” We see him as:
I. A disciple of old standing. Can we not picture Paul’s bountiful host as a grand old man with hoary head his crown of glory, and a serene face suggesting a kindly Christian heart within? “An honest old gentleman,” Matthew Henry calls him. The RV speaks of him as “an early disciple,” being possibly one of the converts of Peter on the Day of Pentecost. Conybeare and Howson suggest that Mnason was converted during the life of our Lord. There is a tradition that he was one of the twenty Jews sent out.
II. Old yet still bearing. The original meaning of “disciple” is learner. Thus Mnason had the honorable description of being “an old learner.” Too often we associate learning with the young who, when they leave school, speak of their education as “finished.” But the old man from Cyprus was not too old to learn. On the tombstone of the historian, John R. Green, is the inscription, “He died learning.” Paul had been a believer for some twenty-five years when he wrote, “That I may know Him.” The oldest saint, as well as the youngest Christian, needs to obey the exhortation about growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
III. Ready for service although aged. While Mnason was not able to undertake all of the long, arduous and perilous missionary journeys Paul faced, he could help those who were called and qualified to do so. He was content to fill a little space even though it was only to give a night’s lodging for God’s workers. Mnason felt it a privilege to entertain Paul and his companions. Here was one given to ungrudging hospitality, and who remained until the end of his day an effective witness to God’s faithfulness.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the NIV Study Bible and the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.