Our Emperor, Our King
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Our Emperor, Our King

Hadrian, the Roman Emperor, was an incredible man committed to leaving the world a better place via the resources he had at his command.  Instead of traveling the empire with a host of soldiers taking whatever they could,  he traveled with an entourage of engineers and architects building whatever was needed.  He was a man of peace who knew the arts of war and wanted to serve Rome by never sending his armies into battle.  His dream failed because in 135 he found it necessary to put down a rebellion in Jerusalem.  He loved art and philosophy and surrounded himself with scholars.  He loved to question them and laugh at their disputes.  He was a superb administrator but very human and wearied with detail.   Failing to give an audience to a petitioning woman he sent her the message that he had no time for her.  When she cried back, “Then, don’t be emperor,” he granted her a hearing.

Hadrian reminds me of Jesus when the Syrophoenician woman followed Him begging for help.  It is a strange story because Jesus refused her because she was not Jewish.  However, she persisted, maintaining that even heathen dogs had the right to eat crumbs.  He granted her request. It was a powerful lesson for his watching disciples.  The blessings of the Kingdom were for everyone not just the linage of Abraham.  Paul follows up on this in Galatians 3:28,  “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Our Emperor, our King, has time for us all, no matter where we have originated.

Written by Roger Bothwell on November 30, 2003

Spring of Life, 901 Signorelli Circle, St. Helena, CA 94574