Alexamenos Graffito


What would you do if one day you showed up at work and there was a picture on the wall of a man with the head of a donkey being crucified?  In addition, just below the picture a phrase was written with your name in it saying, “(your name) worships God.”  It is obvious to you and to everyone who sees it that this was meant to be an insult and pure mockery.  Perhaps you even have an idea of who did this, maybe the day before you were finally able to talk with a coworker that you have been praying for for some time.  You thought it went well and that they were receptive until you walk into work and find a depiction of your Lord with the head of a donkey and your name written below.  This is personal, not only is your God being mocked but you are too.  What would your reaction be?  What should your reaction be? If this were to happen to you it wouldn’t be the first time someone faced this situation.  Around A.D. 225 in Rome on the wall of a house probably used as a training school for imperial pages someone carved the picture you see on the right, it is known as the Alexamenos graffito.  Below this picture it reads Αλεξαμενος ϲεβετε θεον: “Alexamenos worships God.”  We know nothing of who Alexamenos was except the fact that he was mocked for his faith in a crucified God.  We also know God was mocked because of Alexamenos’s faith in Him.  You can image that this two edged sword cut deep but what should have Alexamenos have done in light of this caricature?  What should you do when faced with similar mockery?  Listen to the words of Christ, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matt. 5:44). Love, bless, do good and pray. May we never forget how God loved us while we were still sinners (Rom. 5:8).

This entry was posted in Pastor Paul Posts, Religion by Paul Rochford. Bookmark the permalink.

About Paul Rochford

Paul grew up in California which is where he also received his education. He received his Bachelors in Biblical Studies along with his Masters in Religion, Biblical Studies and Divinity from Southern California Seminary. He is currently pursuing his Masters of Theology degree from there as well. He is married to his wife Julia, enjoys the outdoors and has a heart for the people in the church.

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