Saturday, April 19, 2014

"No way!?!?!"

[From 9/6/13]

"Greet every saint in Christ Jesus.  The friends (brothers) who are with me greet you.  All the saints greet you, especially those of the emperor's household."
(Philippians 4:21-22)

It could easily be dismissed as a "throw-away" line... something "everyone says" when finishing a letter (well, maybe a letter to a church from a Christian leader!).  "Greet every saint in Jesus Christ... All the saints greet you..." It's Paul's way of saying, "Give my love to the church.  We send ours to you!"  But he doesn't stop there.  He adds, "...especially those of the emperor's household," as those who specifically greet the believers in Philippi.

The Roman Emperor was seen (by himself and his followers) as "The Son of God."  Romans observed a pantheon of gods.  There was no limit to the numbers of deities one could worship.  The only caveat was the Emperor be held up first.  Which, as you can imagine, proved to be problematic for Christians (remember the "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" part of the 10 Commandments?).  So for members of the "emperor's household" to be believers is quite something!

Second, Paul was imprisoned (or at least in custody) when he wrote Philippians.  Nevertheless, his mission as a disciple-maker didn't wane one bit.  Even in chains, he spoke about the life-changing power of Christ - and some of the emperor's household gave their lives to Jesus!  That's amazing!  That's inspiring!  That' what being a disciple-maker can do!!  In what some may call the least-likely of situations, God used Paul to draw others to Himself.

I have so much to learn.

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