Polycarp: Christ Has Done Me No Wrong

Author: Laura N. Sweet — Host: Andrew StevensPosted on: September 28, 2021

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Polycarp: Christ Has Done Me No Wrong

Reading today’s verses, I wonder how I would respond if I were arrested and put on trial for my faith. I hope I would respond like Polycarp—a believer from the second century church. According to church historians, Polycarp was a “second generation” Christian who heard the gospel from the apostle John. He became a leader in the church of Smyrna, which often faced heavy persecution from the Roman Empire. When Polycarp was in his eighties, he had to flee Smyrna and go into hiding, but the Romans found him anyway. When soldiers came to the door, Polycarp let them in and then called for food and drink for his enemies. He went with them peacefully to his public trial in the stadium of Smyrna. The Romans required citizens to sacrifice to the emperor, but Polycarp would not. He refused to worship Caesar (who was merely a man) and deny that Jesus was Lord. “I will throw you to the wild beasts!” the consul said. “Send for them,” Polycarp answered. “I will send you to the fire!” the consul threatened. “Swear allegiance to Caesar and I will release you. Curse the Christ!” Polycarp replied, “Eighty and six years have I served Christ, and he has done me no wrong; how then can I blaspheme my King who has saved me? You threaten the fire that burns for an hour and then is quenched; but you know not of the fire of the judgment to come, and the fire of the eternal punishment. Bring what you will.” Polycarp wasn’t afraid of those who could kill the body but not the soul, and he trusted Jesus to raise his body from the dead when He returns. Polycarp followed the example of his Savior: “Because of the joy awaiting him, he [Jesus] endured the cross, disregarding its shame” (Hebrews 12:2). Someday all believers will share that joy for all eternity, when Jesus returns to bring His kingdom to fruition here on earth and we get to live with Him forever. • Laura N. Sweet • Why did Polycarp say he remained loyal to Jesus? What does this reveal about God? • Polycarp’s peace and courage came from God, who lived inside Him through His Holy Spirit. And, if you know Jesus, the same Holy Spirit lives in you! How might this truth encourage you? Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.” John 11:25 (NLT)


Read Verses:

Matthew 10:17-20; 26-31; Hebrews 12:2-3