Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. Deuteronomy 4:39

Procopius was a godly and gifted man who was born in Jerusalem and lived at Scythopolis (Beit She’an in northern Israel). He cured those possessed with evil spirits and diligently studied the scriptures, translating Greek texts into Aramaic so that his countrymen could read God’s word in their own language.

During the persecution of Christians under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, Procopius was brought, along with other believers, to Caesarea. Upon arrival, he was immediately brought before the governor and told to sacrifice to the gods. Procopius refused, declaring, “There is only one God, the Almighty”.

The governor said that if he would not acknowledge the gods, he should burn incense to the four emperors. At this, Procopius burst out laughing and replied with a line from Homer’s Iliad, “It is not good to have lords many; Let One be Lord, One king.” For this, which was considered treason, Procopius was beheaded.

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who art the Way, The Truth and the Life, we pray Thee suffer us not to stray from Thee Who art the Way, nor
distrust Thee, Who are the Truth, nor to rest in any other thing than Thee, Who art the Life. Teach us by the Holy Spirit what to believe, what to do, and wherein to take our rest. We ask it for Thine own name’s sake. Amen. 
Erasmus (1466-1536)

Photo by Pisit Heng on Unsplash

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo is the International Director of Barnabas Fund and the Executive Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life.