In the world's estimation, he lived a very ordinary life until the age of thirty or so. Nothing spectacular, nothing noteworthy at first glance. He was mocked, persecuted, hated, and disbelieved, even by some in His own family. Ultimately, died a criminal's death. And yet here we are, countless generations later, still celebrating this one man's life and death and resurrection.
This following essay, attributed to Dr. James Francis, has long been a favorite of mine. And for as many times as I've read it or heard it read aloud, it never fails to move me. There have been a great many opinions as to the validity of the Gospels and who this man Jesus really was. For my part, I believe He was the Messiah, the Savior who made a way for all humans to return once more to their Creator. But even if that were not so...the truth of this essay is still amazing.
As you read it, pause between each sentence and really consider the magnitude of these statements.
Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another obscure village, where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty, and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never owned a home. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put lived in a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself. While still a young man, the tide of public opinion turned against Him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth while He was dying—and that was his coat. When he was dead He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone and today He is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader of the column of progress. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that One Solitary Life.
Take a Five Minute Walk
As you take a walk with God today, contemplate Jesus as a small infant, as a toddler, as a rambunctious school boy. Think about what he must have been like as an adolescent and then as a strong young man working as a carpenter. Let Him inspire you to absorb in reverent awe the truth of who He really was...the Savior who lived and bled and died in the human world, but who was and is and is to come in the spiritual world.