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Gospel Gazette Online
Vol.  11  No. 1 January 2009  Page 3                    powered by FreeFind

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Wisdom's Corner
Freedman's Cap

By Mark McWhorter

Mark McWhorter

During the first century, the Romans had many, many slaves. The Romans conquered many nations, and the people of those nations often became slaves. Some slaves were treated very well while others were treated badly.

It was possible for a slave to become a freeman. There were several ways that this could happen, but we will not discuss those here. When a slave became a freeman, he was given a special cap. This cap was made of felt and was shaped like half of an egg. It fit very closely to the head. This cap was a sign of his freedom. It was known as the freedman’s cap. When people saw the cap, they would know that this man was not a run-away slave. They would know that he was a free man.

There was a festival called Saturnalia. During this festival it was customary for everyone to wear the freedman’s cap. One reason for this was to show that all men were equal under Roman law. Another reason was to demonstrate the freedom of the season, and compassion and good will were to prevail during the festival. However, the slaves all knew that it was only for a few days. In reality, they were not the same as Roman citizens.

In Galatians 3:27-28, we read, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” All of those who have been baptized into Christ are equal in Christ. In John 8:32-34, we learn that through obeying the truth, we are made free. This freedom is not just for a few days of a festival. This freedom is for eternity, if we will be faithful in this life to God’s Word.

In Ephesians 6:13-17, Paul gives us the armor of the Christian. It is interesting that we are to have a helmet of salvation. This helmet of salvation is our freedman’s cap. Salvation says that we are saved from sin. We are no longer a slave of sin.

Are you wearing a helmet of salvation? Do you have your freedman’s cap? Study your Bible. Learn all you can about how to obey God. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.

Elders of Capernaum

By Mark McWhorter

In Luke 7:1-10, we read about Jesus healing a servant of a centurion. The centurion had heard about Jesus and his abilities. Evidently, he believed that Jesus was a great man of God because the centurion said he was not worthy that Jesus should enter into his house. He also said he was not worthy to come to Jesus in person. The centurion stated that Jesus only had to speak the words and his servant would be healed.

The centurion had sent the elders of Capernaum to Jesus to represent him. He hoped that these leaders of the Jews would be able to convince Jesus to heal his servant. These elders willingly went to Jesus. They stated that the centurion was a good man. They said the centurion loved Israel and had even built them a synagogue.

It is interesting that these elders evidently did not want Jesus to come for his teachings. They simply wanted to get Jesus to heal the centurion’s servant. There is no indication that these leaders of the Jews ever accepted Christ’s teaching. In Matthew 11:23, Capernaum is condemned because of its unbelief. In that passage, Jesus says that if the great works He had done in Capernaum had been done in Sodom, Sodom would have repented. He says Sodom would still be standing because of that repentance.

Yet, those in Capernaum were condemned. It had opportunity to hear the teachings of Jesus and to see the marvelous miracles He performed. They were Jews. They were supposed to be looking for the Messiah, but they refused to believe Jesus.

Study your Bible. Learn all you can about Jesus and how to please him. Do not be like the elders of Capernaum. Accept and obey Jesus, and if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.

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