Martyr Ignatius of Antioch, Fed to the Lions!
Martyr Ignatius of Antioch, Fed to the Lions!
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Little Lad on Christ's Knee: Fed to Lions?
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Martyr Ignatius of Antioch, 'Little Lad' on Christ's Knee?
QUOTE: Ignatius of Antioch
" … Let fire and cross, flocks of beasts, broken bones, dismemberment … come upon me, so long as I attain to Jesus Christ."
do you remember one day, when Christ's Disciples argued among themselves who was the greatest, . . . and Jesus sat a little child on His knee and spent some minutes teaching the child.
The child 'listened carefully' to the story Jesus told - unconcerned with his selfish agenda - 'learned' what Jesus was saying and 'believed!' All this with a perfect attitude!
The little boy didn't argue with other kids, . . . or taunt them as he could have said:
>>"Look at me!"
>> "I'm the chosen One!"
>> "That's cause I'm better than you!"
>> "Jesus picked me first!"
>> "that makes me special!"
>> "I'm the FIRST one Jesus picked no matter if He picks you next!"
>> "This make me 'The GREATEST KID IN ALL GALILEE'!"
The Little boy said or did NONE of these things . . . contrary to the arguing Disciples who was the greatest among them (which disturbed Jesus muchly!) . . . the little just sat quietly, listening to Jesus!
Then Jesus said to his onlooking disciples: "Such is the Kingdom of Heaven: and EXCEPT ye become as this little boy, ye shall in NO CASE . . . inherit the Kingdom of Heaven!"
That little boy did become famous, however, among family and friends - not of his doing, but his parents were pleased. His name was "Ignatius" . . . and his parents never let him forget Jesus holding him on His knee.
Whether they took Ignatius to see Jesus other times - as they easily may have - it is not known. Just this once is all that is recorded!
Neither is it known exactly what Jesus said to Ignatius, or even if he asked his name! Jesus may have not known him at all . . . or He may have known him and his parents well . . . as they may have followed Jesus at every opportunity.
Whatever Jesus said to Ignatius . . . we can be SURE IT WAS A SEED! . . . and it GREW!
IGNATIUS GROWS UP!
Ignatius was born in D-25, was 6-8 when Jesus talked with him, and by the time Jerusalem was destroyed, he was a powerful preacher who learned at the feet of Apostle John . . .
. . . who was the only Apostle of the 12 still alive (at least in that whole multinational area - some may have been in far distant lands, Thomas in India, etc.)
By the time Apostle John died, he was the greatest voice and mind of the Church . . . preaching and writing with true Apostolic Fire . . .but not for long!
Rome was determine to SILENCE HIM - whatever it took!
All those concerned knew Ignatius was going to die for Christ including Ignatius. He knew it and he wanted it to be so.
However, some Christians in Rome and with influence among Romans were trying to get the Government to see that Ignatius was really a great guy and good for the Roman Empire!
Ignatius was eager for a confrontation with Rome and as he saw it, the well-meaning Christians were meddling with God's Will!
"I fear your kindness, which may harm me," he wrote to Roman Christians hoping to free him. "You may be able to achieve what you plan.
But if you pay no heed to my request, it will be very difficult for me to attain unto (the will) God."
And that was truly Ignatius's goal: to imitate "our God Jesus Christ" in death. If Christians really wanted to do something, they should pray that he would remain faithful, regardless how his martyrdom occurred!
"If you remain silent about me, I shall become a word of God. But if you allow yourselves to be swayed by the love in which you hold my flesh, I shall again be no more than another human voice."
That Ignatius truly wanted to die was about as much as we know about his martyrdom. It's not even known for certain how he was killed, though that's likely.
Thankfully, he left several great letters behind, full of fire and passion!
As the second (or third) bishop of Antioch, one of the most important churches of the day, he was certainly one of the most prominent Christians of the time immediately succeeding the apostles.
Antioch was also home to some religious debates, and while Ignatius denounced division (of the Church) as "the beginning of evil," the bishop engaged in debate with tenacity.
To the Magnesian church (near Ephesus) he wrote scathingly of the Ebionites, who demanded the keeping of Jewish regulations.
Similar attacks were launched against the Docetists, who believed Christ only appeared to be human. Anyone believing such nonsense that Christ only seemed to suffer could not truly be called a martyr, he asserted.
Ignatius was arrested on the charge of "atheism" - for denial of the Roman gods (and of Course they did not recognize Christ or the the God of Israel!)
Ignatius was taken from Antioch to Rome by an escort of ten soldiers.
At nearly every stop, he met leaders of local churches, and during the trip he wrote, with the help of a secretary, seven letters.
Though most famous for being one of the church's earliest martyrs, his letters also served to record the rapid development of church hierarchy.
"Follow, all of you, the bishop, as Jesus Christ followed the Father," he wrote to Polycarp's church at Smyrna (now Izmir, Turkey).
"Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be, even as wheresoever Christ Jesus is, there is the catholic (universal) church"
"It is not lawful apart from the bishop either to baptize or to hold a love-feast [church meal]," he continued in his letter to Smyrna.
The instruction is also remarkable because this is the first recorded use of the phrase "catholic" [meaning, universal] church and there is NO RELATION TO ROME! NONE!
IGNATIUS and VIRGIN BIRTH!
Ignatius was also the first outside the New Testament to speak of Jesus' virgin birth.
The details of Ignatius's death are lost to history, but not his desire to have his life count for something:
On his way to Rome to be killed Ignatius wrote:
"Now I begin to be a (real)disciple … Let fire and cross, flocks of beasts, broken bones, dismemberment … come upon me, so long as I attain to Jesus Christ."
IGNATIUS, FED TO LIONS?
Ignatius did not know if he would be burned at the stake like Polycarp., crucified like Jesus and Peter, beheaded like Paul, fed to wild beasts like Perpetua, or simply starved to death in the Mammertine prison!
Tradition says Ignatius was fed to the Lions (Scripture has Paul thanking God that he delivered him out of the mouth of the Lion! 2 Timothy 4:17, Paul's Last letter before his martyrdom!).
The kind of death of Ignatius was not officially recorded by Rome . . . Rome having so many martyrs of slaves, and thieves and criminals of all kinds, . . . those of the "Christian Cult" were no more noteworthy than others . . . and records only say Ignatius was killed!
He was one of the early notable martyrs!
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