Updated: Mar 9, 2019
The ancient writer Herodotus tells a story about how Cyrus the Great ascended to the throne of the Media-Persian empire.
His grandfather, Astyages, ruler of the Medes, dreamed that an heir would usurp his throne. When his daughter gave birth to a son, he ordered a faithful servant to kill the newborn. The servant, instead of having the child killed, gave him to a poor shepherd family to raise as their own. The child grew up thinking he was part of a humble rural family with simple roots, nothing more.
Then, according to Herodotus’ account, when about ten years old, Cyrus was playing in the village street with other children a game called “Kings.” The young Cyrus not only assumed the role of the king but did it with such regal authority and power and force that it became clear he couldn’t be merely the son of a herdsman. When Astyages heard about this, he looked at the child, saw a great resemblance to himself, and realized that this was, indeed, his grandson. This time he sent him into exile.
However, Cyrus eventually led a revolt and, indeed, took the throne from his grandfather.
Imagine what must have gone on in the boy’s head: one minute he thinks that he’s the son of humble shepherds; the next thing he knows, he’s told he was the heir to a throne.
And what about us? Being told that we are the heirs of fish, only to discover, through Scripture, that we are, really, children of God, and through Jesus Christ “you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29)?
What a wonderful revelation of who we really are.