Perpetua and Felicity: Weighing the Cost of Choosing Between Family or Faith

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Perpetua and Felicity: Weighing the Cost of Choosing between Family or Faith

Church History
CHHI 520

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction…………………………………………………………………………….3

What Did Jesus Mean in Matthew 10:37 and Luke 14:26? ………………………3-9

The Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitias………………………………………… 9-16

Conclusion......………………………………………………………………………16-19

Bibliography……………………………………………………………………….….19

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Introduction

This paper is written to explore the lives of Perpetua and Felecitas for a better understanding of what Jesus said in Matthew 10:37 and Luke 14:26. My purpose is to connect Perpetua and Felicitas life application of Scripture with the cost it required during the third century in Carthage Rome. The outcome of this paper is to explore the extent of their applied faithfulness.
What Did Jesus Mean?

Jesus said in Matthew 10:37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more

than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more
than me is not worthy of me.”

This Scripture baffles many, what is Jesus saying? We must love Jesus not only more than our families but more than our own lives. The moment we become Christ's followers, our own lives and wills become forfeit; we die with Christ to sin Rom 6:3-4 and choose a path that could lead any day to our execution for Christ's name (Mt 16:24). Although we today in the United States of America may speak convincingly of "our cross" as the need to put up with Aunt Anna or a roof that is leaking, undeniably "taking up the cross" in Jesus' day, meant being forced to bear the instrument of one's execution past a taunting mob to the site of one's impending death as a condemned criminal, literally taking up one’s cross to death. Shouldn’t the promise of eternal life be adequate inspiration for any who genuinely believe Jesus' claims- doesn't it make sense that the greatest earthly longevity pales in comparison with eternity-but we sometimes prove less dedicated than we suppose? (26:41) Yes, even the first disciples were not at the outset prepared for such a demand (26:56) But, this does not alleviate the level of commitment our Lord seeks from us: if we want to be followers of Jesus, we must be ready to die. If I rate my life in this world more than I value Jesus and the life of the eternal world, I cannot be his disciple. What Did Jesus Mean in Luke 14:26?

Luke 14:26 states “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.”

These are powerful words and very perplexing.  Surely He did not mean hate. The word in the Greek Miseo is used with several lenses of meaning.  Conferring with Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, I found that it is factually used for “malicious feelings toward others.”  But it is also meant to be used to tell “of relative preference for one thing over another, by way of expressing either aversion, from or, disregard for the assertions of one person…to those of another.”  The key in understanding this kind of “hate” for earthly family members that Christ speaks about dwells within an understanding of an “aversion from” and “disregard for.” We can notice Jesus' attention turns almost totally to his disciples. The leadership warned and rebuked. But what does...
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