John Knox had two mentors. One is unknown to the history of the Church. One is a legend who has a theological system is named after him. This blog post will interact with Knox’s “unknown” mentor.
As stated above, this guy is unknown in the halls of church history, but he was defined by two things: A love for the gospel and a fearless attitude. It was at the feet of Wishart that Knox heard the gospel and the forgiveness that is found only in Christ alone. Wishart preached even when God’s enemy, Cardinal David Beaton, zeroed in on him. This Cardinal was “a tyrant and inquisitor, sumptuous and ruthless, with his guard and his ladies and his seven bastard children.”
One disturbing example will suffice:
“On January 26, 1544, Beaton ordered four men hanged for breaking Lent and refusing to pray to the saints. Not satisfied, he arrested one of the men’s wives, a young mother, for the crime of praying in Christ’s name instead of Mary’s during her labor pains. Beaton’s henchman seized the woman newborn infant and condemned the mother to public drowning.”
So you can imagine that as Wishart’s popularity spread, Beaton’s jealousy was kindled. Finally, after spreading rumors that the controversial preacher was plotting his assassination, Beaton captured and chained Wishart to be burned at the stake.
Knox’s mentor finished well. He said to his executioner,
“For this cause I was sent that I should suffer fire for Christ’s sake. I fear not this fire. And I pray that you may not fear them that slay the body, but have no power to slay the soul.”