Jesus’ Full Impact

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. (Jn. 21:25)
The full impact of Jesus on the world may never be known in this life. However, we do know and understand the importance of His spiritual impact on man. Truly He is the only way, the only real truth, and the only life there is offered to man by God. But what about all the other ways Jesus’ life has affected society and influenced the world. Pastor John Ortberg in “Surprising Ways Jesus Influenced the World” once summarized some ways Jesus’ life in and through others has impacted the world.
1.Humanitarian Reform = Children, Woman, and Slaves lives have been changed by Jesus and His followers. In the ancient world children were to be seen not heard and woman were truly second class citizens, slaves were owned objects to be used. Jesus’ treatment and teaching about them led to great reforms and the establishment of truly seeing the worth in all people. Woman and slaves flocked to Christianity in disproportionate numbers because for the first time “all are one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28)
2.Education = the love of learning more about God led to monasteries, which in tern became cradle of academic guilds. Universities all began as Jesus-inspired efforts to love and get to know God with one’s mind. The notion that every child bore God’s image helped fuel the move for education for all.
3.Compassion = Jesus had a universal concern for the suffering that transcended the rules of the ancient world. His followers’ compassion for poor and sick led to institutions for lepers, which are the beginning of the modern hospital. They were the fore runners for all other charitable, volunteer run organizations and institutions.
4.Service and humility = the ancient world honored courage, strength, and wisdom- not humility. “Rank must be preserved”, said Cicero. Jesus’ life as a foot washing servant led to the adoption of humility as a widely admired virtue. “it is unlikely that any of us would aspire to this virtue were it not for the impact of the crucifixion” wrote Historian John Dickerson.
5.Forgiveness = The thought of forgiveness in the ancient world was weakness. Genghis Khan answered “what is best in life?” by saying “To crush your enemies, drive them from you, and hear the lamenting of their women.” Jesus displayed and taught an alternative idea: “love your enemies and reconcile them unto you”
In what ways is your life impacting the world in the name of Christ? What area of brokenness in the world moves you to act?
In His Service,
Eric Barnes

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