It's time to use the roads given to us to proclaim the name of Messiah Jesus.
“When you give everyone a voice and give people power, the system usually ends up in a really good place.” Mark Zuckerberg, CEO & Founder of Facebook
Mr. Zuckerberg gave the world a voice in 2004 and three years later, Steve Jobs gave us a platform to utilize our voice. Since then an untold amount of social media networks have emerged at lightening speed. In recent months many are making a mass exodus off Facebook and social media altogether, deeming it unworthy of them or their precious time.
Ok that's fair.
Except, how selfish. How arrogant, especially of a believer of Jesus the Messiah.
You see, Jesus came at just the right time, did He not? I mean, we share this to unbelievers, proving how cool and detail oriented our Father in Heaven truly is. Yet many of us haven't a clue of why it was the right time. Allow me to explain and hopefully open your eyes to see just how incredible our social media advantages are, and, how rapidly our own Roman Road is closing.
Roman roads were, at the time of Jesus' birth, the arteries of the empire. They connected communities, cities, and provinces, and without them the Romans could surely not have conquered and held onto the vast territories they did over so many centuries. Such was the engineering and surveying skills of the Romans that many of their roads have provided the basis for hundreds of today's routes across Europe and the Middle East- not to mention our own nation as well to some extent. In addition, Jesus came and died at a time when peace abounded in that region. This was known as the Pax Romana (the Peace of Rome) in history. This ingenuity of these roads was astounding and as one takes the time to study them, you quickly come to the conclusion the Lord had His Divine hand and wisdom all over the Romans in order to fulfill His purposes. It's rather brilliant, actually.
Photo by Carole Raddato.
The Romans did not invent roads, of course, but, as in so many other areas, they took a concept, which went back as far as the Bronze Age and extended it. Of course in typical Roman fashion, they maxed out the idea to its fullest potential. The first and most famous great Roman road was the Via Appia (or Appian Way). Constructed from 312 BCE and covering 196 km (132 Roman miles), it linked Rome to Capua in as straight a line as possible and was known to the Romans as the Regina viarum or 'Queen of Roads'. Much like our modern highways, it did not go through less important towns along the way, and it largely ignored geographical obstacles. (Thanks to tunnels and bridges) For example, the impressive 90 km stretch from Rome to Terracina was built in a single straight line. It's important to understand just what made these roads so magnificent and significant in that time. Major roads were around a standard 4.2 m wide, or 12-13 ft, which was enough space for two wheeled-vehicles to pass each other. Roads were finished with a gravel surface sometimes mixed with lime or, for more distinguished portions, the roads would be fashioned with dressed stone blocks of volcanic tuff, cobbles, or paving stones of basalt or limestone.
Just the materials used alone are enough to cause anyone to see why these roads were so prestigious and enduring. Pictured above is a 2000 year old Roman Road.
Don't get me started on the few year old roads in Boston,Ma- p o t h o l e s galore!
The Pax Romana coupled with the Roman Roads gives any casual investigator a glaring reason why Jesus came, died and rose again at just the right time.
My children have memorized a timeline of 500 facts beginning with Creation and the Fall and ending with The Rising Tide of Freedom. Thanks to Classical Conversations my people can tell you just about any portion in history, and thanks to our Father giving me wisdom to expound on it, they can tell you why it's so significant.
Namely- the Pax Romana through the statement Persecution Spreads the Gospel.
Jesus the Messiah came at time in history when there was peace, something the world hadn't known much about and likely would never know a time of peace such as that again. The inner workings of the Roman Empire began to decline starting around 200 AD and by 400 AD Rome was struggling. The actual city of Rome finally fell in 476 AD. The peak of its power was reached during the second century, around 117 AD, coincidentally about 80 years after Jesus ascended to Heaven- one generation, according to the Scriptures. My point- once a full generation of believers was underway, and the Gospel had spread far and wide as it needed to in order to begin and further the Church, Rome had served its eternal purpose and the Lord saw to it that it was began to implode on itself, eventually being destroyed altogether in the late 400s. Because I'm a total history nerd, I urge you to study the Middle ages, which began in 500, as you will find a rich amount of Church history.
Enter 2004 when Mark Zuckerberg, from Jewish descent, (please do not miss the significance here), created Facebook, our very own equivalent of the Roman Road.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like have rapidly changed the way we do literally everything. Few people actually watch news anymore but rather get their news from social media in the form of posts or links to articles and videos.
In the early days of coronavirus, I stood on the bread line at Trader Joe's hearing a woman complain about how another shopper brought her own bags (the horror) and had claimed ignorance of the goings on of our world. The woman said "goodness! doesn't she watch the NEWS!" No ma'am, no one watches TV news anymore. And at that point, few had really said much on social media except to complain about being sequestered away in their homes for 2 weeks...
Before Covid, we had a beautifully built Road for ourselves, one in which we could share any information we wished, from your kids' birthday party to their acceptance into the most esteemed college in the country, (gotta love the humblebrags). We shared memories and moments with one another, able to engage across thousands of miles with loved ones who didn't live in our cities. We cheered on our favorite sports teams and booed ones we hated. Some grew businesses, building into giant empires, simply by sharing a cute graphic or "story" about the product we were hocking at that moment. We shared medical victories and horrific tragedies. From births to deaths literally anything and everything was shared across the social network, freely, without concern of censorship or any such nonsense.
And along came a plandemic... To which all of us gave our opinions and facts.
Thanks to Mr. Zuckerberg, we had this stunningly high opinion of ourselves that we could share whatever we desired to on social media, and that everyone truly hung on our every word. After all, we have just emerged from a time in history when we take selfies and post what we are eating and wearing and of course, what the right way to do such and such is. How could we not have this view of ourselves.
Ugh, I cringe when I read my own posts from two years ago. Just the blatant ignorance coupled with arrogance is maddening. It's gross, actually.
I know many have this same stunningly high view because when the tables turned and ol' Zucks put the kibosh on the liberty and speed at which we gave our opinions, folks left social media in droves. Well, wait, they didn't leave altogether, they opted for a "freer" platform. Until that one turned on them. Let the hand wringing commence!
I love to break it to you all, social media, like the Roman Road, is of Divine inspiration from our God, imparted to one of His chosen people- Mark Zuckerberg.
Note how many miraculous inventions have sprung up from this people group.
As believers in Jesus the Messiah, we are called to support them, and certainly not tear them down in their own business. Calling out the founder of Facebook, on Facebook is akin to going into walking into Tiffany's and cursing the name of Charles Tiffany and family. Not cool, at all. Of course, no one would actually do that but there is a certain amount of anonymity when furiously typing from behind a screen, is there not?
Rather, we ought to thank our God for such a fantastic road of sorts, and use it as the early Church used their means and modes- spread the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah.
Currently, the state of affairs is this- we have a hurting world right now. Also we also have the answer. The answer is hope in Jesus, period. In 2020 there was a significant increase in depression, anxiety and mental illness overall. In fact, every two seconds it's reported that someone Googles the word depression, assuming there is an inquiry relating to that word.
Brothers and sisters, you and I HAVE the answer- Jesus. And listen, if you feel the weight of depression, anxiety and fear, as a believer in Jesus the Messiah, then my friend, we need to talk. After experiencing healing in this area myself, and seeing my husband and countless others become healed from depression alone, I can, with absolute authority and certainty, that no one in the Body of Christ ought to have this struggle. If that was acceptable, then what would be the point of believing in Jesus?? So that you can still have a life of total crap and pray for Him to take you sooner? Goodness no! Life would only get hard for a believer in Jesus because as He said, the world will hate you on account of Him. I mean, it is quite unsavory to be hated all because of the name of Jesus. But outside of that, Heaven is just the icing on the cake! Jesus traded our illnesses for His healing, our poverty for His wealth, and our bondage for His freedom.
Our Roman Road, social media, window is rapidly closing, my friend. The days of being able to share the gospel freely and opening around the globe are coming to a close. The book of Revelation tells us this would happen. But we still have a window, albeit only perhaps 3/4 of the way open.
Lean out the window and tell it!
So you get locked up Facebook jail! Stop whining about it and pray for the founder of it. He needs the Messiah as much of not more. He is part of God's chosen ones. How tragic for Jews to miss their Messiah, especially right now- the most exciting time in history to be alive!
The opportunity for you to share your faith online, freely, with abandoned is almost over. Do it now before you can't.
Give thanks for the time you enjoyed on social media, the millions you earned, and the friends you met- and get to work.