Wednesday 29 May 2024


 Here we are 2024 years after  his birth, and he is still the most talked about person un the world, and the most influential person who ever lived.

 Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the son of Mary. A Jewish village girl, and by God his Father in a unique birth.  He grew up in Nazareth and worked with his step-father Joseph as a carpenter.  When he was 12 he had his bar mitzvah.  He was baptized when 30, and began his ministry. He died when 33. But for all true Christians, He continues to live in our lives

 When he was with his Apostles, he asked them, who do people say I am? They told him several names, Elijah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, or one of the prophets. Jesus then said, who do you say I am?  Peter replied, ‘you are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus was pleased with that answer, and told Peter his Father  had revealed the answer to Peter.

 Jesus went on to say, he would build his Church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it.  He would give Peter the keys of the Kingdom, and he would have authority to bind or not to bind people on earth. This was extended to include all proclaiming the gospel.

 This passage has been the most controversial passage in all Scripture.  Roman Catholics have claimed it means that Peter was the first Pope, as he gave Peter as a rock on which to build the Church.  Protestants have maintained that the term rock, was to be shared with other Apostles, and meant the confession made which also should be shared. Peter was also given authority to admit people to the Church through the preaching of the gospel, which was subsequently extended to all proclaiming the gospel.

 Nor is Peter infallible. Or the leader of the Church. I have never understood the claim that Peter was the leader, for it states in Acts 15, James was the leader who made judgement regarding the Gentiles.

 If you asked non-religious people who Jesus was, the most used answer would be he was a good man. The Bible state, ‘Jesus was a good man’. He went around doing good deeds, healing the sick, the lepers, the blind and deaf people, even restoring life to people who had died.  He was the Son of God who came from heaven to be the Savior of the world.

 Jesus has been declared to be a Rabbi, a talented Jewish teacher, who never wanted to start a new religion. He has been viewed as a revolutionary, but not in the creation of a revolution. He was never  the warrior the jews expected who would make Israel a world power.

 Jesus has been referred to be a religious leader on the style of Mohammed, Moses, Buddha, but such is the power and authority of Jesus, he was so much more. Only by Jesus is the way one  can call on God; only Jesus can forgive sins; only he died on a Cross to redeem all sinners, only he was the Sn of God who was raised from death.

  The prophets of the Old Testament foretold the birth of Christ, of his life and death.  There are many prophecies regarding he life of Jesus.

 Jesus performed miracles, healing lepers, the blind, the deaf, calmed a storm, walked on water, turned water into wine, cast out demons. Brought life back to people who had died. He had miraculous power.

 An essential fact is that after dying on the Cross, he was buried and was raised on the third day, as he had stated would happen.

 Jesus has transformed many millions of lives. Prior to leaving this earth, he told  his Apostles to go to all countries, making disciples and teaching all he had commanded, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Following from the Apostles, men and women with brilliant minds, capable of earning huge salaries, went across the world to live in harsh conditions, just to preach the gospel.  

Now people in those countries in Africa and Asia, have learned by word of mouth from predecessors, the gospel which they know and practice far better than people from Western nations with all their facilities to help them. Furthermore, they are more prepared to declare their faith than we  are, and can do so without fearing police action for what they said, or be suspended from work.

 In Scotland in recent weeks, a vacancy for First Minister arose, one female was expected to contest it with good backing from members. The lady was known for her publicly declared Christian faith, and Church membership.  This caused some members to object, as it was known she did not approve of same sex marriage, and transitioning gender is a popular issue in government. She was appointed as deputy by the man who took the vacancy, but it has been quoted that some  writer displayed his arrogance when he suggested Christians should keep their faith  private in  their own homes. But this did not apply to other religions.

 To her eternal credit, and to show her superior personality, it gives me pleasure to quote her statement. ‘I believe in the person of Jesus Christ. I believe he died for me. He saved me, and that my calling is to serve and to love Him, and to serve and love my neighbor, with all my heart and soul, and mind and strength. So that is essential to my being. Politics will pass. I was a person before a politician, and that person will continue to believe I was made in the image of God.

 Such a statement would not be made in the normal procedure of life in the United Kingdom.  There has  been statements of faith in the united States Congress, but the statement I quoted is the most impressive I have seen, and much credit for the courage in so openly made. What an example for all Christians.

 Between Jesus and any other person in the world there is no comparison. The French leader Napoleon Bonaparte stated, ‘Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, myself, founded great empires, and the creations of genius depend.  Jesus alone found his empire by love, and to this millions would live by him.

 History has revealed, in every country even those of another faith, there are still people braving attacks on themselves and their property in order to preach the gospel.

 Books, pictures and paintings, statues have been  made and published, empires and rulers all been and gone, but Jesus is till the dominant figure of all societies. The date and time of his birth has created time for the world to follow.

 It is to be regretted that many Christians attend Church regularly, yet do not try to learn about the life of Jesus. We fall back and realize a big cause is that whist Jesus is preached in the normal parish church, it is only in evangelical Churches that a deeper sermon is fully given. In fact, Jesus has been placed after ceremonial procession.

 John completed his gospel by stating that if all the things that Jesus did were to be written there would not be as many books available to record.

 The same conclusion for any preacher could be said for there are so many parables and miracles and healings one could  fill pages.

 I close with a reminder to people who think their place in heaven is reserved for them. Jesus gave his life in a cruel death in order that the sins of people could be forgiven, yet so many people who so confidently state God would never send anyone to heaven’s opposite abode in hell. They are right, God does not want anyone to go to hell, but God lets people make their own choice.

 If people cannot spare one hour a week in worship, then you have made your choice already. Jesus gave his life to save you, if he did so much for you, then you should do so little for him as attending to worship him. The Bible states that one day we will all appear before God and judgement will be made. An awful lot of people will then think,  if only……..


May God touch all hearts with his message and may His Holy Name be glorifide.



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