In ancient Ephesus, a monumental gateway stands at the entrance to the city’s marketplace.
Inscriptions tell us two slaves, Mazeus and Mithridates, built it in the 4th century BC. The former slaves built it to display their indebtedness to the Roman Emperor Augustus and his family, who freed them from slavery. The triple gate proclaims their gratitude to the benefactors of their new life and release from bondage.
Throughout the centuries, people have dotted the globe with monuments. Honor is given to politicians, emperors, heroes, citizens, and gods. This hasn’t always been good. God’s people angered Him by building monuments to false gods. It did not go well for King Saul when he built one in honor of himself at Carmel, 1 Samuel 15:12. Paul warned the Corinthians about making the church a monument to a person. This is an easy trap to fall into for those of us with God-given positions of authority and leadership.
As pastors, let’s minister in such a way as to “store up treasures in heaven” (Mt. 6:19–20). Then the lasting testimony of our ministries will forever declare our gratefulness to the One who freed us from sin and death.
“Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe.”