Non Plus Ultra In Valladolid, Spain, where Christopher Columbus died in 1506, stands a monument commemorating the great discoverer. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the memorial is the figure of a lion destroying one of the Latin words that had been part of Spain’s motto for centuries.
Before Columbus made his voyages, the Spaniards thought they had reached the outer limits of earth. As far as they were concerned the Straits of Gibraltar marked the ends of the earth. Thus their motto was “Non Plus Ultra,” which means “No More Beyond.” The lion is tearing away the word “non” or “no,” making it read “Plus Ultra.” Columbus had proven that there was indeed “more beyond.”
For too many disciples and churches, their motto might as well be “Non plus ultra.” “Lord, bless us four and no more” could be their bedtime prayer. However, for the obedient disciple, “non” must be torn away. There is “more beyond” our small circle. There is a world of lost people to bring to faith in Christ.
Paul was the Christopher Columbus of his day. Though he ministered widely across Asia Minor, the cry of his heart was “more beyond.” He writes the Romans in hope of spring boarding from there to Spain and beyond. He writes, “Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the [nations] to the obedience that comes from faith” (Romans 1:5).
Let’s be lion-hearted enough to tear away the “non” and live the truth that there is “plus ultra”—more beyond.