Tue, Jan 22 2013 10:52
One of the greatest questions of our time is: who is Jesus, anyway? So many people have so many different ideas about who Jesus was. In 1976 a man named Ernest Digweed, a retired teacher from Portsmouth, England, left a rather strange will. He left $44,000 for Jesus Christ “on the occasion of His return to this earth.” But, in order to claim it, Christ had to return in the next 80 years. He must return specifically to “reign on earth” and He must prove His identity to the British Government. Mr. Digweed’s probate attorney said, “I certainly anticipate we are going to have a lot of trouble, particularly with cranks.” And he asked anyone who might be listening, “Who can tell who is the real Jesus Christ? Different people think different things.”
Noted American author Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Jesus Christ belonged to the true race of the prophets. He saw with an open eye the mystery of the soul. Drawn by its severe harmony, ravished with its beauty, he lived in it, and had his being there. Alone in all history he estimated the greatness of man.” So, to Emerson, he was a prophet. Gandhi described Jesus this way, “A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom for the world. It was the perfect act.” Gandhi saw no divinity in Jesus, but a great and willing martyr. Mikhail Gorbachev, former Soviet political leader claimed that Jesus was “the first socialist, the first to seek a better life for mankind.” So Gorbachev saw Jesus as a social activist!
A historian named Philip Schaf tried to describe the enormous influence Jesus had on history and culture. “This Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander, Caesar, Mohammed, and Napoleon; without science…he shed more light on things human and divine than all philosophers and scholars combined; without the eloquence of schools, he spoke such words of life as were never spoken before or since, and produced effect which lie beyond the reach of orator or poet; without writing a single line, he set more pens in motion and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art, and songs of praise than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times.”Today, everyone seems to have a different idea of who Jesus was or is. Ironically, the ONLY way anyone can know about Jesus is through the New Testament documents. Yet, the vast majority of people with strong opinions about who Jesus is have not even read the New Testament account. Their ideas about Jesus come from sources which cannot really shed light on His true identity. Some people’s opinions are strictly based on what they’ve heard someone else say, which was precisely why Luke wrote his gospel. Who is Jesus, anyway? A great way to find out is to begin reading the New Testament accounts, and I highly suggest the gospel of Luke.