Nestor (c. 251) - “With Him shall I be for evermore”
He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Mark 8:34 (NRSV)
While dying by crucifixion for his faith, Nestor, Bishop of Magydus in the area of Pamphylia and Phrygia, exhorted the Christians who looked on to remain firm in their faith.
Nestor was a godly man, respected by believers and pagans alike. He had realised his life was in danger, but his only concern was the church under his care. He was arrested during the reign of the Roman Emperor Decius, and a magistrate tried unsuccessfully to persuade him to renounce his faith. He was then taken to the governor, Polio, but despite threats of torture he remained firm.
Even while being tortured, Nestor still was able to give thanks to God. When asked again whether he would renounce his faith, he said, “With my Christ, I have ever been; with Him, am I now; and with Him shall I be for evermore.”
We cannot learn fear of God and the basic principles of godliness, unless we are pierced by the sword of the Spirit and destroyed. It is as if God were saying that to rank among his sons our ordinary nature must be wiped out.
John Calvin (1509-64)
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo is the International Director of Barnabas Fund and the Executive Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life
Photo by Dimitri Houtteman on Unsplash
Originally appeared on Isaac Publishing