Assemble a list of the world’s greatest and most influential people and an amazing and daunting list of heroes, scientists, philosophers, generals and more emerges. Socrates. Alexander the Great. Jonas Salk. Albert Einstein. George Washington. Plato. Gutenberg. Martin Luther. Moses.
One name dwarfs them all. Utter this name and the contest ends without question, and ends immediately: <strong>Jesus Christ</strong>. From His obscure birth to ordinary peasants He has dominated the world stage since He set foot upon it. Jesus Christ is the central figure of all human history, and He did it all without ever writing a book, receiving a formal education, commanding an army, inventing a new gadget, running a business or making any money, holding any kind of political office or exploring any undiscovered regions. In short, all the means to human fame and glory were of no use to Him yet He achieved limitless fame beyond anything anyone could have ever imagined. Nearly twenty centuries since He walked and taught in the foothills of Galilee His name is still known everywhere across the globe, His symbol seen constantly, and those who claim to follow Him are legion. Again, without doubt, and from any measure possible, Jesus Christ is the greatest figure in history. Let’s stop and think a minute about how this came to be. <br /><br /><strong>He uttered the most important words ever.</strong> Jesus teachings are so powerful that they have slipped into even the common man’s language. For example, most everyone knows who the Good Samaritan is or can quote Judge not that be ye not judged. The Lord’s Prayer and the Golden Rule are just as universally recognized. All of this comes from the mouth of the Savior. However, let us be clear: it is not just that Jesus said profound and wise things. Others have uttered famous words. Churchill’s speeches during WWII kept a nation going through terrible times. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address continues to impress all who read its simple lines. Plato’s dialogues are still studied. For certain, others have said profound and wise things but <em>no one has ever said what Jesus said about spiritual things</em>. Jesus didn t talk politics, military tactics or discuss how to succeed in business. He didn t even really talk about how to have a good life here on this earth, though the abundant life (John 10:10) is a benefit of being His disciple. Primarily, Jesus talked about spiritual realties. He talked about God, how we may call Him Father (Matt 7:7ff), and how to live so as to please the Father (Matt 5:1ff). He talked of sin and forgiveness (Luke 13:3; John 8:21), eternity and judgment (Matt 25:46), and yes, even the devil (John 8:44). He made clear His mission (Mark 10:45; John 9:4) that as His followers we might know ours as well (Matt 10:24-25). Jesus words are the most important ever because they dealt with the most important facet of our being and life: our Creator and our eternal destiny before Him. <br /><br /><strong>He did the most important work ever.</strong> Immediately one thinks of Jesus miracles. Without question, Jesus miracles are astounding and important. The signs He did, from healing the blind (Mark 10:47-48) to raising the dead (John 11:43-44) to casting out demons (Matt 4:24) all certified Him as the Messiah because He did the works the Messiah would do (Matt 12:23; Luke 4:17-21). Yet others in the Bible did miracles. Moses, as the instrument of the Lord, brought destruction on Egypt and drowned her army. Elijah did wonders that still leave us amazed. Paul and Peter did signs as well. Thus, if miracles were the criteria others would qualify. The really important work Jesus did is discussed in John 12:32: And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself. Jesus did what no one else could have ever done: He gave His life for the sins of the world. <em> For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many </em> (Mark 10:45). Just like Jesus words, this is head and shoulders above anything that anyone might submit as best for this class. Curing cancer, polio, leprosy and every other known and unknown disease still wouldn t top this, for the Great Physician heals our souls. Ending poverty and homelessness once and for all wouldn t top what Jesus did, because He ended spiritual bankruptcy and offers us an eternal home. Defeating every evil army ever assembled is a minor achievement when compared to Jesus. He defeated the source of all evil, the devil, for all time. No one else could do what He did, and we almost cannot imagine that God would do what He did. But at Calvary the incredible became real: Deity died that we might live. <br /><br /> He promised the greatest promises ever. Great words and great deeds come together in John 14. <em> Let not your heart be troubled . . . In My Father’s house are many dwelling places . . . I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself </em> (vv. 1-3). What promises! Because Jesus knew that He would rise again and not remain dead He could speak to His future and ours as well. Notice what He promises. Let not your heart be troubled speaks to contentment and banishes anxiety and worry. In Jesus we have a calm in the center of our souls that can come from nowhere else. Jesus promises us that we do not have to fret about our future. Why? Because in My Father’s house are many dwelling places. Jesus promises us eternal life, a home with Him and the Father in heaven for all time! What a promise! Finally Jesus promises I will come again. This is the promise of His return. At the right time, at a time no man knows, He will come again and take us home to be with Him forever. Of course, many people have made promises, and some of those promises have been important, historical and even great. Yet, no one has ever lived the life Jesus lived so no one could ever promise what Jesus could. No one has done what He did so no one could give what He gave. No one’s promises have ever been, or ever will be, as great as Jesus are. <br /><br /> It has been well said that <em> all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not effected the life of man on this earth as much as that One Solitary Life. </em> Let us praise Him and joyfully serve Him, the great King of Kings and Lord of Lords!</p>