- As seen on https://www.facebook.com/ministrywitness/posts/770437306352532
Bartholomew was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus.
We read very little about him in the Bible.
His name is mentioned in the synoptic gospels - Matthew, Mark and Luke.
Bartholomew means, “Son of Tolmai” and he is generally presumed to be the same person called Nathaniel in John’s Gospel.
We might call him, Nathaniel, son of Tolmai, Bartholomew.
It was Philip who introduced Jesus to Bartholomew first as Jesus of Nazareth, son of Joseph.
Bartholomew was reluctant to believe it.
He asked Philip, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
But when he met Jesus personally and heard Him say of him,
“Here comes an honest man - a true son of Israel”, Bartholomew was astonished.
When Jesus further said, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you, Bartholomew had no second thought. He said, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God - the King of Israel.”
Bartholomew knew Jesus on the day and from that day forward he never turned back.
Early Church historians generally agree that Bartholomew took the gospel as far as India where he translated the Gospel of St. Matthew and preached to the people in their own language.
But persecution drove him to Greater Armenia where he brought King Polimius and twelve cities to Christian faith.
This irritated the priests who turned the king’s brother against Bartholomew.
He was arrested and was accused for “perverting King Polimius”, to which Bartholomew responded humbly that he had only preached the true worship of God. Infuriated, the King’s brother ordered that Bartholomew be suspended upside down on a cross.
Some sources say that he was beheaded with an axe to end his suffering. His famous words were,
“I would rather seal my testimony with my blood than suffer the shipwreck of my faith or conscience”.
Dear friends, Nathaniel alias Bartholomew was not famous like Peter or Paul, yet he paid the ultimate sacrifice for his faith.
How will our faith be in times of persecution?
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, though at first Bartholomew did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah, when he met Him personally all his doubts flew away. He became His faithful disciple and lived so till his death. Like him, let me also be zealous for you till my last breath. Amen.