Daily Devotional

The Savior of John Smith

Average reading time is about 5 minutes

An Amazing Fact: Legends grow with the passing of time, and the story of Pocahontas seems to have become more embellished since Captain John Smith first wrote about this famous Native American woman who saved his life. According to Smith, a Jamestown leader, a group of Powhatan’s warriors captured him in December 1607. He was then taken to Powhatan, who forced him to kneel before him to be executed. Just as Powhatan’s men were about to crack his skull with wooden clubs, Powhatan’s young daughter, Pocahontas, ran and threw her body over Smith’s. She convinced her father to spare his life. Smith was then treated to a huge feast and let go.

But historians debate the details of what happened. Some compare different accounts of John Smith and believe he tended to exaggerate stories and wanted to enhance Pocahontas’s standing. Others think Powhatan may have been staging a special ceremony his people used to adopt someone into their tribe. In other words, Pocahontas may have simply been “playing the savior” in the ritual of symbolically making the Englishman an adopted son of Powhatan.

The story of Pocahontas is fun to read and has become a part of American folklore. Movies and books have taken the storyline and romanticized it until we are not sure where truth ends and fable begins. But there is a story of a savior who laid down his life to redeem a people who were captured and sentenced to die. Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, came to our Earth and was willingly crucified that we might live.

The father of Pocahontas, so the story goes, was going to execute John Smith. Pocahontas willingly laid down her life to save Smith. Her life was spared, but Christ’s life was not. Jesus threw Himself over our world to protect us, not from a Father seeking to execute us, but from the results of sin. He received the death blows that we might be set free. We have a Savior and His name is Jesus. Have you accepted Christ’s sacrifice?

Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. John 10:17

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