About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

Home Page


The Christian Super Spreader


In our 2020 Covid 19 environment we hear the term "super spreader" almost every day.  When thinking about a super spreader, historians say that the Christian Movement spread the fastest and the farthest during the first three hundred years of its history.  Tertullian, a church leader (born 155 died 240 AD) explained why the church spread so fast and so far when he said this:    


"The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church."


During the first three hundred years of Christian history there were ten major government sponsored periods of Christian persecution, including the execution of Christians.  As far as Tertullian and others were concerned, each time a Christian was martyred, his death and burial was a seed that sprouted into a harvest of new Christians.  That may sound unsettling to us, but Jesus said something similar in John 12:24.


"Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds."


When one is martyred for a specific cause his death can attract new adherents to his cause.  The death of an Islamic terrorist, for example, has motivated many Muslims to join the terrorist cause.  Jesus' death and burial is the ultimate example of being a seed that sprouted into the Christian Movement. 


Look at Jesus' warning to the believers in Smyrna concerning possible martyrdom.  Revelation 2:10 reads:


"Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer.  I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days.  Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown."


For the Christians at Smyrna , martyrdom for the sake of Jesus was a real possibility.  This has been the reality for Christians for centuries, and it's not over.  In Revelation 7:9 through 17 we read that the martyrdom of the saints was the seed that sprouted into the largest harvest of Christians ever.  Revelation 7:9 states that John saw a multitude of people from all nations worshipping the Lord before His throne.  In verse 13 we read that one of the twenty four elders asked John who these people were and where they came from.  John knew nothing about these people so the elder explained who they were in verse 14.


"And he [the elder] said, 'These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.'"


This massive multitude of saints was those who were executed for their association with Jesus  during the Great Tribulation.  We see them in Revelation 6:9.


"When he [Jesus] opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained."


Clearly, God often executes His will in ways that are unsettling to us, and why?  Isaiah 55:8 explains.


"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."


The Christian Movement has been a super spreader of Jesus through the martyrdom of the saints in times past and it will be again.  By the way, the state decreed Christianization of the Roman Empire in the fourth century that paganised the Jesus Movement was the vaccine that inhibited it from being the super spreader it had been.  When thinking of a vaccine, I recall Billy Graham saying that a watered-down Christianity has inoculated many in the western-world from experiencing the real Christianity.  May you not be so inoculated.  


Home Page