“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.” (Romans 12:14, ESV)
One of the finest historical examples of a commitment to radical discipleship is the story of Dirk Willemsz. Dirk was a sixteenth-century Anabaptist who lived in Holland. According to the account in the Martyr’s Mirror, Dirk was imprisoned for his faith. He managed to escape, although he was pursued by a guard. As he fled, he came to a river that was covered with a thin layer of ice. Dirk made it across safely, but the guard fell through and would have soon drowned. Astonishingly, Dirk turned back and rescued his pursuer. The guard wanted to spare him for his act of love, but the burgomaster ordered that Dirk be returned to prison. In May of 1569 Dirk Willemsz was burned at the stake.
This engraving was created by Jan Luiken and was published in the Martyr’s Mirror.