There went with us also certain of the disciples of Caesarea, and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple…
There must have been some peculiarity in the case of Mnason for St. Luke to remark that he was an" old disciple," which may mean that he was an "old man and a disciple," or that he was one of the earliest disciples, possibly one who was led to accept Christ as the Messiah on the day of Pentecost. He was a "man of Cyprus," but he may have been visiting Jerusalem at Pentecost. Mention is made of him in connection with St. Paul's journey to explain the care which the Christian disciples took to secure the apostle's safety and comfort in the holy city. The crowd at the feast-times was so immense that the ordinary stranger might fail to find accommodation. Mnason had a house at Jerusalem, and there St. Paul was sheltered. There are two senses in which a man may be spoken of as an" old disciple:"
(1) he may be old in years;
(2) he may be old in experience.
No Christian disciple could at that time have been very old in experience of Christian life. There are four possible suppositions concerning the discipleship of Mnason.
(1) He may have been, like Simeon, one of those who looked for redemption in Israel, and so was prepared at once to welcome Christ.
(2) He may have been one of the disciples who attached themselves to Christ while he was with men in the flesh.
(3) He may have been converted at the day of Pentecost.
(4) He may have been a first fruit of St. Patti's missionary labors in Cyprus. The subject suggested by the reference to Mnason is - the mission in the Church of old disciples; and three points may receive full treatment and illustration.
I. Old disciples may prove what Divine grace can do in keeping us unspotted from the world.
II. Old disciples may illustrate "patient continuance in well-doing."
III. Old disciples may exert a gracious influence by the tone and character of their religious experience, as corrective of the mistakes and practical errors that may prevail, and as guiding to the solution of practical difficulties in doctrine and in conduct. The Church has often good reason to rejoice in the wisdom and prudence of her "old disciples." - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: There went with us also certain of the disciples of Caesarea, and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whom we should lodge.