INDIVIDUALS JESUS HELPED
The beloved disciple wrote, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched, we make known unto you regarding the Word that became Life.” At one time, the Word was with God. It was God and the Word became the Life of man. That life was Jesus, the Christ, and the Son of God. While He was on earth, He touched many lives directly and indirectly. He touched them with His presence and His absence. He touched them with His words, with His hands, with His feet, with His eyes, and even with His prayers. Whoever came in contact with Jesus, whether they were for Him or against Him, they all were touched in one – way or another. They all took from His fullness grace and truth. No one ever spoke or lived like Jesus and no one ever will. That is why His life was the most solitary in the world and that is also why He impacted humanity more than any other man.
In the ensuing pages, we shall attempt to reconstruct what many of the witnesses would tell us if they were among us. Every one would tell us a different story. Every person would stand up and say what it was they remembered most about Jesus. Even those that were set against Jesus did not take Him lightly; but, took great pains to hinder His impact on their world. How could they know that their action to remove Jesus would turn Him into the most admired and followed individual in the history of humanity? His influence on cultures, races, religions and even economics is staggering. Christmas alone has boosted one third of our Western economy. Millions have had jobs because of Christmas, even if the world tried to deny the influence Jesus had. Just think what our nation would have been without Jesus’ life and teaching? It is mind-boggling how one man’s message has had such an overwhelming return. And when realize that He began His ministry at the grass roots and not with kings and leaders in high place, we are at a loss for comprehension. Most of the witnesses were from the lower scales of life. Those who were higher up the economical and social scale were actually forced into participating were more negative than affirmative.
Yes, those that were privileged to hear Jesus had an advantage over the rest of us. At least that is what many of us would say. The truth is that if we had been contemporaries of those that heard and saw we would have been as deaf and blind as they were. We are privileged with hindsight and not with foresight. Even those that did see and hear but did not believe, they had the Written Word. They had Moses and the Prophets (Lk. 16:29-31). All they had to do is, “search the Scriptures,” Jesus said (Jn. 5:39). He also said, “blessed are those who do not see but believe” (Jn. 20:29). He prayed that posterity would believe in Him through the words of His messengers (Jn. 17:20). His Word will not loose its power or authority, no matter who passes it on.
Words are very powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12). Words represent Jesus. Jesus was like His words. He was identified by His appearance but He lives on by His words and deeds (Mt. 12:37). His face vanished but not His words. That is why God introduced Himself to man as the Word (Jn.1: 1). Just how powerful were, “The Lord’s Words?” Jesus told one audience that it was wise to hear and put His Words into practice (Mt. 2:24). Another group was told that His Words were Spirit and Life (Jn. 6:63), and that His Words would never end or pass away (Mt. 24:35). If we could ask some of the people that heard Jesus speak what would they tell us? In my studies, I have come across seventy-two individuals that had a personal encounter with Jesus. I would like them to tell us what it was like to meet Jesus and what He had done for them. Also, I would like to know whether we could repeat their experience? Can we again feel His impact the way they did? We need to be reassured that godless secular powers will not diminish the impact of Christ on our world.