An Unlikely Trio
A fisherman from the Lake
of Galilee, grown old, exiled to a small island off what is now the
Turkish coast where there was no hope of escape from his powerful Roman
captors, the last surviving apostle of Christ, his eleven colleagues
dead, one a suicide and the other ten martyrs, living at the conclusion
of the first century a.d. and claiming to be the recipient of a
remarkable set of visions from God which he recorded in the biblical
book of Revelation, author of another four books of the New
Testament—one an account of Christ’s life and three pastoral
letters—long since dead, he is a man unknown apart from Scripture.
A young woman, born in an
obscure farm house north of the village of Gorham, Maine, in the United
States on November 26, 1827, seriously injured at the age of nine, her
injury effectively terminating her formal education at the third grade,
and yet becoming arguably the most prolific author of all time, her
elegant literary style read by millions on all continents and translated
into over 130 languages, the author of over five thousand journal
articles and numerous books encompassing prophetic exposition, health,
education, biblical history, family life, the history of the Christian
Era, theology and many other disciplines, more than twenty-five million
words in all—she is the most unlikely member of this trio.
Pope John Paul II:
Judged by many to be the
most powerful and influential man of the late twentieth and early
twenty-first century, grown old in office, physically weakened by the
ravages of degenerative disease, a Polish octagenarian, highly educated,
widely traveled, nearing the end of his pontificate, universally
acclaimed, sits upon the Papal Throne, ruling as a worldwide emperor,
with unquestioned authority, an authority unmatched by any other
ruler of his era.
Initially it would appear that these three
individuals have nearly nothing in common but their having lived beyond
their eightieth birthdays. And yet, each in a decided manner is
intimately bound up with the other two.
As the remarkable interaction of these three lives of
differing centuries unravels, an intriguing, fascinating and highly
significant insight into the present course of history, politics and
religion emerges. The events of the twenty-first century come into focus
and become explicable.