AN AMAZING FACT: Captain James Cook sailed around the world and managed to survive a thousand perils. But when he landed on the island paradise of Hawaii, the natives mistook him for a god. He allowed the Hawaiians to view him as divine and worship him. When on his return voyage they found out he was not really a god, they killed and mutilated the renowned captain.
Cook was not the only man to go out into the world and be worshipped as a god. In the spring of 331 B.C., after conquering the Persians and Egyptians, Alexander the Great made a pilgrimage to the great temple and oracle of Amon-Ra—the Egyptian god of the sun, whom the Greeks identified as Zeus. The early Egyptian pharaohs were believed to be sons of Amon-Ra. Alexander, the new ruler of Egypt, wanted the god to acknowledge him as his son. The pilgrimage apparently was successful, and it might have confirmed in the young king’s belief that he was divine. Just before he died, Alexander ordered the Greek cities to worship him as a god. The order was largely nullified shortly after he issued it by his death. Was there a connection?
We as Christians have been called to go into all the world. Jesus said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:18, 19). We do not go out, like Cook or Alexander, seeking to be lifted up as gods, but rather we lift up Jesus Christ as the only One worthy of worship.
And as we go, we will face trials and persecution. But Jesus said, “Lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (v. 20). It does not matter if our voyages take us to the most remote corners of the globe, we can know that Christ will never leave us or forsake us.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: Acts 18:9For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city. Acts 18:10