We must now take our leave of Baghdad. As we now leave the apostle by the Rivers of Babylon, we, too, can see the clouds of his approaching martyrdom on the horizon. We can imagine that the words of the Lord Jesus must be ringing in his ears. On the shores of Galilee Peter had heard the Master say to him that when he grows old “…another shall gird thee and stretch out your hands.” There the Lord uses the same word for “stretched out” to describe Peter’s death as the apostle uses to call upon you and me to love one another fervently.

If the lukewarm love of the church at Laodicia failed to satisfy the Lord Jesus what makes us think that our brothers and sisters in Christ will like it. They, like the Savior, will want to vomit it from their mouth.

May we have an ear for the poignant call of this beloved servant of Christ.