So, who is Jesus?
In 2013 “Who is Biggest” – A research project supported by the National Science Foundation of America and published by the Cambridge University found that Jesus was the most significant and influential person in all of history. ranker.com – a website that ranks real time public opinion reports the same conclusion from their ongoing research and statistics.
Whatever we believe or don’t believe about Jesus we can’t deny the contribution he has made to society.
What Made Jesus So Significant & Influential?
For someone whom only spoke publicly for 3 years and started a movement with 12 inexperienced supporters, it is remarkable that he has such a presence in history.
Facts about Jesus:
Seems a strange statement but it’s important to establish that Jesus was a real person, he breathed like us, he felt the same pain and emotions as we do and he ate and drank like us. He laughed, he cried, he loved his friends and cared for them.
He did miraculous things
People came from everywhere to be healed by him both physically and spiritually. His ability to do the miraculous is mentioned in historical texts outside the Bible.
Jesus was an amazing teacher. His understanding of humanity was far beyond anyone else. His extraordinary teaching ability is once again documented in historical texts outside of the Bible. At one point he taught an audience of 5,000 people lessons about living a ‘good’ life.
Love one another.
What good is it to gain the whole world yet forfeit your soul?
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to their life?
All things are possible with God.
Blessing comes to you when gentleness lives in you.
Don’t repay a wrongful act with another wrongful act.
Examine your motives to make sure you are not showing off when you do good deeds.
You’ll be judged by the same standard that you’ve used to judge others.
Honour your Father and Mother.
Show mercy and compassion for others.
Be alert and guard your heart against greed and always wishing for what you don’t have. For your life can never be measured by the amount of things you possess.
Don’t let worry enter your life. Live above the anxious cares about your personal needs.
I have come to give you everything in abundance more than you expect – life in its fullness.
I am the way, the truth and the Light.
He hung out with the social outcasts
Jesus didn’t choose to hang out with the ‘popular’ people within his community. He could have chosen stature, he could have mixed with the Kings and the powerful Priests but instead he spent his time with those that would have been deemed to be outcasts, people of low social standing.
Jesus raised the status of women by interacting with them and challenging authorities to treat them as equals.
He cared for the broken and the poor
Jesus continually stood up for the rights of people who had no ability to protect or provide for themselves.
He challenged the Authorities
Rather than using his notoriety for personal gain, Jesus used it in order to challenge the establishment. He challenged the general thinking of the day. He challenged the rules. He challenged the religious laws of the day. He focused on what we today would consider is ‘right and ethical’.
He made some pretty big and controversial claims
He said that he is the way, the truth and the life.
He said, I did not come to judge the world but to save it.
He said he is the only way to God.
He said that if we follow him that we will receive new life, eternal life.
Jesus felt physical pain the same as we do. When they whipped him, stabbed him and nailed him to the cross he felt the same pain we do and bled the same way we do.
Jesus was an amazing leader of people. His leadership style was contrary to any other leader of his time. He modelled what is now known as servant leadership. It is commonly accepted now that the greatest leaders are those that choose to serve their constituents.
Jesus led a very unlikely group of 12 men that were of no social position. They were not special in any way, yet these men are the ones who started the Christian faith. Which as we know it today that has more than 2.1 billion followers and has changed the world forever.
They say the greatest leaders are willing to sacrifice themselves for their people. Jesus loved humanity so much that he chose to sacrifice his life, believing that in doing so he could bring us into a personal relationship with God.
C.S Lewis, known worldwide for his great novels such as the Chronicles of Narnia, was also a very learned man and a great thinker. He held down positions at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities. He once made a very insightful statement about Jesus, he said, “Jesus is either the LORD, a LIAR or a LUNATIC.”
Now it is fair to say he was most likely not a lunatic as much of what he said forms the basis of what we would refer to as a civilized society today, so the options left for us are Lord or Liar.
2,000 years on what started with a small group of believers who were persecuted, ridiculed, and were eventually killed for their faith has grown to more than 2.1 billion followers.
So it’s not likely the work of a liar.
Whether we are happy about it or not it appears Faith is an important part of humanity.
Whilst some might say we have moved past this phase in history, the research seems to point towards a different answer.
Take some time to truly consider what it is you believe. It’s a very personal decision.