Today, I was watching a movie on Pureflix called Polycarp. While watching the show, it reminded me of how many people from the Bible that I know very little about. We hear a lot about Matthew, Paul, Luke, Moses and so many others. But, Polycarp feel under my radar when it came to those in the Bible.
I think it would be interesting to learn more about those who aren’t really talked about.
In the show there is a young girl named Anna. She was a slave and was adopted by a Christian and she became friends with Bishop Polycarp. Anna was being taught by Polycarp in the show. In the show Anna struggled with her beliefs and those who were Christians around her. I’m guessing Anna is just a character on the show, but Polycarp was a real man and a disciple of the Apostle John. When he was older in his 80’s he became the bishop of the Church at Smyrna in Asia Minor which is currently Turkey.
During those days there was persecution of Christians. I don’t think persecution in that part of the world has ever ended. During these times though Christians and believers would be killed in the Coliseum. Polycarp was taken custody for refusing to bow down and call Caesar “lord.” Officials asked Polycarp to recant his faith. Polycarp was then asked “What harm would it be to say that Caesar is lord ?” He then went on to say “how can I blaspheme my King who saved me.” Since he wouldn’t renounce his faith, Polycarp bravely went to his death in the Coliseum.
Death by fire
(source; Christianity.com) The fire was prepared. Polycarp lifted his eyes to heaven and prayed: “Father, I bless you that you have deemed me worthy of this day and hour, that I might take a portion of the martyrs in the cup of Christ. . . Among these may I today be welcome before thy face as a rich and acceptable sacrifice.”
As the fire engulfed him, the believers noted that it smelled not so much like flesh burning as a loaf baking. He was finished off with the stab of a dagger. His followers gathered his remains like precious jewels and buried them on February 22, a day they set aside to be remembered. The year was probably 155 A.D.. In the strange way known to the eyes of faith, it was as much a day of triumph as it was a day of tragedy.
There is a lot of information out there and is something I will have to read up on since this is the first time I have ever heard of Polycarp. Polycarp was the last one of those personally taught by the apostles. Some of the information that I found is Based upon some records from when he apparently died, it appears that Polycarp was born around 52 A.D. His name is Greek, hence he is believed to have been a Gentile.
When I got to the end of the movie, I would hope that I would be prepared to stand up for my faith in Christ like Polycarp did. Today Christians are suffering real persecution. Polycarps message is one we all need to be reminded of. Christian persecution is happening all around us and even here in the United States. Things are only going to get worse and according to all of the signs of the end times, things are going to increase.
One thing I found online about his is this, even though I’m not sure it is true, but it made me laugh anyhow, lol. I do think it is accurate though from many of the things I am reading.
“He who grants me to endure the fire will enable me also to remain on the pyre unmoved, without the security you desire from nails.”
Away with the atheists!’ and be set free.” Polycarp pointed to the pagan crowd and said, “Away with the atheists!” He was burned at the stake and gave joyful testimony of his faith in Jesus Christ.
If you want to look up Polycarps writings, you can click on the link below. It was a bit over my head for the most part.