By 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
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.
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
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,
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.