After his conquests in Persia and in India, Alexander the Great, at Opis, announced to his veteran army that the wars were over and that those who had served him so well, many of whom were wounded, homesick, and enfeebled, would be sent back to their homes in Macedonia. He planned to change his Macedonian and Greek army to one of foreign and Persian complexion.
At this announcement a storm of protest interrupted the words of the king. "You have used us up, and now you cast us aside. Take your barbarian soldiers! Will you conquer the world with women? Come, let us all go. Keep all or none. Why don't you get your father Amnion to help you?"
Stirred by this mutiny, Alexander leaped from the platform where he was standing and put several of the ringleaders under arrest. Then, returning to the dais, he faced the sullen, turbulent army and made them a speech which showed that he was great not only as a soldier but as an orator.
He said: "Will anyone say that while you endured privation and toil, I did not? Who of you could say that he has suffered more for me than I for him? Come now, who of you has wounds? Let him bare himself and show them, and I will show mine. No member of my body is without its wound; there is no kind of weapon whose scars I do not bear. I have been wounded by the sword, by the arrow from the bow, by the missile from the catapult. I have been pelted with stones and pounded with clubs, while leading you to victory and to glory and to plenty, through all the land and sea, across all the rivers, and mountains, and the plains."
Thus, by the wounds and scars on his body, Alexander the Great proved to the soldiers of his army his courage, patriotism, and devotion.
So Paul could lay back the folds of his garment and say, "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus" (Gal. 6:17).
A missionary to the Arabians told of an Arab of standing in his community who sought him out late one night with a burden on his soul. He told him that he had learned to see that Christ was the Son of God and his Saviour. The missionary reminded him that the next step was confession. The man then told him that this would mean either death or being driven out on the hills like a wild animal. He could endure such a fate for himself, but he felt he ought not to bring such suffering upon his young son.
The faithful missionary reminded him of the words of Christ, "He that loveth father or mother . . . son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me" (Matt. 10:37). Looking out of his window afterward, the missionary caught a vision of the man kneeling beneath a tree, in an agony of prayer—praying, no doubt, that he might be given strength to drink this cup and confess Christ before the world.
The missionary had no doubt that he had stated the terms of Christian discipleship according to the words of Christ himself. But, telling the story before a church gathering in this country, he said: "When I see the easy, selfish lives of Christians here, and see them come to the Lord's table without any thought or purpose of real denial or self-sacrifice, and then think of that Arabian kneeling beneath the trees, I begin to feel that I made the terms too hard for him."