Saturday, April 14, 2018

"Whosoever drinketh of this water" - Revolutionary Christianity for Roman Citizens

Mt. Fuji and Cherry Blossoms, the Two Major Japan's Symbols

Revolutionary Christianity for Roman Citizens

When Christianity was preached among Roman citizens between the first century and the fourth century, the creed that Christ Jesus was God was not established and fixed.

But the major trend of diffusion of Christianity in the Roman Empire and further in future Europe was decided in this period.  If Roman citizens had not accepted and believed this religion, Christianity would not have prevailed in the world in the following 2000 years.  So, it is very important to understand why and how Roman citizens accepted and believed Christianity.

One notable fact is that the Gospels were written in Greek and then in Latin, so that most of Roman citizens with literacy could read the Gospels unlike Europeans living in the Middle Ages or till the 16th century.  Another notable fact is that Jewish people accounted for 10% of all the population in the Empire and there were many Jewish people in every major city in the Empire, so that Judaism was not new and strange to Roman citizens.

So, Roman citizens must have been interested in the report of early Christians that a messiah or the Son of God appeared in Palestine.  And, they must have respected the words of Christ Jesus.  Further, they respected early Christian preachers, since they were honest and kind, behaving  in a moral way.  And, they must have been enchanted by Christians' prediction that the end of the world was near.

But, most importantly, Roman citizens must have learnt the true relationship between God and human beings.  The idea that God is the father of human beings must have been new to Romans.  And, the creed that God loved human beings must have been also new.  But they thought these new concepts were wonderful, since Romans had been always engaged in war and conflicts.  The value of the human life was so little in the Empire.  Especially, slaves and lower-class people without hope in life must have been enlightened by these Christian concepts.  That must be why Christianity was accepted by Roman citizens.

It must be as if poor Romans had found bright light in the darkness of their lives.  There is Heaven, and God in Heaven loves poor people, they must have realized.  Before Christianity, there were no such teachings in the Empire.  It was revolutionary and groundbreaking.  Roman citizens must have first realized existence of God through early Christianity and words of Christ Jesus.

It is hard for us now to see how revolutionary the early Christianity was to Roman citizens in early centuries.  But it must tell the essence of this religion.

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Joh 4:13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
Joh 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.