“I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.”– H. G. Wells
Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament law, gave hope, introduced grace and real ethics, made every person equally important regardless of social or economic status, and destroyed condemnation!
Genghis Kahn described the heart of man when he said, “The greatest pleasure is to vanquish your enemies and chase them before you, to rob them of their wealth and see those dear to them bathed in tears, to ride their horses and clasp to your bosom their wives and daughters.”
But Jesus taught what is best in life is to love your enemies, and see them reconciled to you!
“The discoverer of the role of forgiveness in the realm of human affairs was Jesus of Nazareth.”– Hannah Arendt
Just look to the 12 disciples to see how time with Jesus can literally change everything:
Simon was a hothead, an impetuous screwup.
Andrew was the first disciple but a nobody as far as the disciples were concerned.
James was initially skeptical of Jesus.
But Jesus changed all of that!
Likewise, Saul the persecutor became Paul the Apostle.
Even those who rejected Jesus, like Pilate, the rich young man, the man who was too busy and the religious leaders of that day, are powerfully impacted by their moments with Jesus.
We have already discussed in this sermon series Nicodemus, the thief on the cross, Barabbas, the woman caught in sin, the woman with a past, the man with no future and there are countless others in scripture and throughout history who have had their lives completely changed because of Jesus.
And we like change, right? But we only like controlled, limited change.
We want others to change, geopolitical situations to change, physical changes to happen without effort.
But we don’t want to change our attitudes, our thinking, our plans, the very things that control us or put us in our predicaments.
So what will we allow Jesus to change?
Our bank account balance? Our weight? Our most embarrassing moment?
But will we allow Jesus to change the way we’re living? Our direction in life? Our purpose in life? Our eternity?