“Where are You taking me?!”…why? are You asking, i say…(Duh!-lol:)…”Didn’t You read previous postings?”
Dy’na.mis (power), semei’on (sign), te’ras (wonder)…Miraculous, huh?
IMAGINE the eyes of the blind seeing, the ears of the deaf hearing every sound, the tongue of the speechless singing out with joy, and the feet of the lame being firm and able to walk about! We are talking, not about breakthroughs in medical science, but about the results of God’s own intervention in behalf of mankind. The Bible foretells: “At that time the eyes of the blind ones will be opened, and the very ears of the deaf ones will be unstopped. At that time the lame one will climb up just as a stag does, and the tongue of the speechless one will cry out in gladness.” (Isaiah 35:5, 6) But how can we be sure that this truly amazing prophecy will be realized?
To begin with, when Jesus Christ was on earth, he actually did cure people of all forms of disease and disabilities. Furthermore, most of his miracles were seen by many witnesses—even by his enemies. In fact, in at least one instance, skeptical opposers thoroughly investigated a healing in order to discredit Jesus. But much to their chagrin, all they did was confirm his miracle. (John 9:1, 5-34) After Jesus performed yet another undeniable miracle, they said in frustration: “What are we to do, because this man performs many signs?” (John 11:47) The common people, however, were not as insensitive, for many began to put faith in Jesus.—John 2:23; 10:41, 42; 12:9-11. (excerpted: How Disabilities Will End W02)
What makes a person/man GREAT?! (magic tricks? stirring speeches?)
Can any man unquestionably be called the greatest man who ever lived? How do you measure a man’s greatness? By his military genius? his physical strength? his mental prowess?
The historian H.G. Wells said that a man’s greatness can be measured by ‘what he leaves to grow, and whether he started others to think along fresh lines with a vigor that persisted after him.’ […] “By this test Jesus stands first.”
Alexander the Great, Charlemagne (styled ‘the Great even in his lifetime), and Napoleon Bonaparte were powerful rulers. By their formidable presence, they wielded great influence over those they commanded. Yet Napoleon is reported to have said: “Jesus Christ has influenced and commanded His subjects without His visible bodily presence.”
Ask yourself: Could a person who never lived have affected human history so remarkably? The reference work, The Historians’ History of the World, observed: The historical result of [Jesus’] activities was more momentous, even from a strictly secular standpoint, than the deeds of any other character of history. A new era, recognised by the chief civilisations of the world, dates from his birth.”
Even calendars today are based on the year that Jesus was thought to have been born, “Dates before that year are listed as B.C., or before Christ,” explains The World Book Encyclopedia. “Dates after that year are listed as A.D., or anno Domini (in the year of our Lord).”
Although references to Jesus Christ by early secular historians are meager, such references do exist. Cornelius Tactitus, a respected first-century Roman historian, wrote: “The name [Christian] is derived from Christ, whom the procurator Pontius Pilate had executed in the reign of Tiberius.” Suetonis and Pliny the Younger, other Roman writers of the time, also referred to Christ. In addition, Flavius Josephus, a first-century Jewish historian wrote of James, whom he identified as “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ.”
The New Encyclopedia Britannica thus concludes “These independent accounts prove that in ancient times even the opponents of Christianity never doubted the historicity of Jesus, which was disputed for the first time and on inadequate grounds at the end of the 18th, during the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th centuries.” (Excerpts: The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived.“
Was Christ God? What did Jesus say about himself? What did Friends/Followers/Contemporaries, who knew him well, say? Or Non-Christians? (What can we learn from an unprejudiced study/examination of the Gospels?)
Please notice these points from the book The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived: (my highlights)
“I do nothing of my own initiative,” Jesus explained, “but just as the Father taught me I speak these things.” (John 8:28). He carefully imitated his heavenly father.
Thus, the apostle John acknowledged that “no man has seen God,” he could still write that “God is love.” (John1:18; 1 John 4:8) John could do this because he knew God’s love through what he saw in Jesus, who was the perfect reflection of his Father. Jesus was compassionate, kind, humble and approachable. The weak and downtrodden felt comfortable with him, as did people of all kinds–men, woman, children, the rich, the poor, the powerful, even (so-called) gross sinners.”
Jesus did not merely teach his followers to love one another, but he showed them how. “Just as I have loved you,” he said, “you also [should] love one another.” (John 13:34) Knowing the “the love of the Christ,” explained one of his apostles, “surpasses knowledge.” (Ephesians 3:19) Yes, the love Christ demonstrated ascends above academic head knowledge and “compels” others to respond to it. (2 Corinthians 5:14) Thus, Jesus’ surpassing example of love, in particular, is what made him the greatest man who ever lived. His love has touched the hearts of millions through the centuries and has influenced their lives for the good.
Yet, some may object: ‘Look at all the crimes that have been committed in the name of Christ–the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the wars that have seen millions who claim to be Christian kill one another on opposing battle lines.’ But the truth is, these people belie their claim to be followers of Jesus. His teachings and way of life condemn their actions. A Hindu, Mohandas Gandhi, was moved to say: ‘I love Christ, but I despise Christians because they do not live as Christ lived.’
Jesus lived to serve others..”to minister and not to be ministered to”…(that’s the key to GREAT leadership. Jesus’ leadership skills, perhaps, ? fodder for part 6?) He unselfishly cared for their pressing needs…not just their physical concerns, but more importantly their spiritual concerns. Yes, his first followers were fishermen…and Yeah, he got them fish/aka food, more importantly, he taught them how to fish/aka how to live–love...what he taught would have a long-term/everlasting blessing/positive benefit IF applied in their every day lives. Check out the following from an article read back in 2004…W: The Miracles of Jesus—What Can You Learn?
The Gospel accounts refer to some 35 miracles of Jesus. But the total number of his miracles is not revealed. For instance, Matthew 14:14 states: “He [Jesus] saw a great crowd; and he felt pity for them, and he cured their sick ones.” We are not told how many sick people he cured on that occasion.
Such powerful works were central to Jesus’ claim that he was the Son of God, the promised Messiah. The Scriptures did indeed show that God-given power enabled Jesus to perform miracles. The apostle Peter referred to Jesus as “a man publicly shown by God to you through powerful works and portents and signs that God did through him in your midst, just as you yourselves know.” (Acts 2:22) On another occasion, Peter pointed out that “God anointed him [Jesus] with holy spirit and power, and he went through the land doing good and healing all those oppressed […]; because God was with him.”—Acts 10:37, 38.
Jesus did not merely claim that he was the Messiah; along with his words and other deeds, the God-given power displayed in his miracles furnished evidence of his Messiahship.
Marks of Authenticity
Why can we be certain that Jesus’ miracles were real, authentic? Consider some of the marks of authenticity.
In performing his powerful works, Jesus never drew attention to himself. He made sure that the result of any miracle was that God received the credit and the glory. Before curing a blind man, for instance, Jesus stressed that the healing would take place “in order that the works of God might be made manifest in his case.”—John 9:1-3; 11:1-4.
Unlike illusionists, magicians, and faith healers, Jesus never used hypnotism, trickery, spectacular displays, magic spells, or emotional rituals. He did not resort to superstition or the use of relics. Note the unassuming way in which Jesus healed two blind men. “Moved with pity,” says the account, “Jesus touched their eyes, and immediately they received sight, and they followed him.” (Matthew 20:29-34) No ritual, ceremony, or showy display was involved. Jesus performed his miraculous works in the open, often before numerous eyewitnesses. He did not use special lighting, staging, or props. In contrast, alleged modern-day miracles often defy documentation.—Mark 5:24-29; Luke 7:11-15.
Jesus sometimes acknowledged the faith of those who benefited from his miracles. But a person’s lack of faith did not prevent Jesus from performing a miracle.
The miracles of Jesus were performed to meet actual physical needs of people, not to satisfy someone’s curiosity. (Mark 10:46-52; Luke 23:8) And Jesus never performed miracles in order to profit personally in any way.—Matthew 4:2-4; 10:8.
What About the Gospel Accounts?
The facts about Jesus’ miracles have been transmitted to us through the pages of the four Gospels. Are there reasons to rely on these accounts as we examine the authenticity of the miracles attributed to Jesus? Yes, there are.
As already noted, Jesus’ miracles were performed in public, before many eyewitnesses. The earliest Gospels were penned at a time when most of those eyewitnesses were still alive. Regarding the honesty of the Gospel writers, the book The Miracles and the Resurrection notes: “To accuse the gospel evangelists of indiscriminately submerging historical fact in a flood of miracle-mongering to serve the interests of theological propaganda would be outright injustice. . . . They meant to be honest recorders.”
Jewish opponents of Christianity never challenged the powerful works described in the Gospels. They questioned only the power by which these were performed. (Mark 3:22-26) Neither could later detractors successfully deny Jesus’ miracles. On the contrary, during the first and second centuries C.E., there were references to miraculous works performed by Jesus. Clearly, we have every reason to view the Gospel accounts of his miracles as authentic.
Jesus sensed the pain of others, even those whose exact circumstances he had never experienced. For instance, the common people lived in fear of the religious leaders, who deceived them and burdened them with many man-made rules. (Matt. 23:4; Mark 7:1-5; John 7:13) Jesus was never frightened or deceived, but he could understand situations that he had not lived through. Therefore, “on seeing the crowds, he felt pity for them, because they were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matt. 9:36) Like his Father, Jesus was loving and compassionate.—Ps. 103:8.
When Jesus saw people suffering, he was moved to show them love. Thus, he perfectly reflected the love of his Father. After one extensive preaching tour, Jesus and his apostles were about to go to an isolated place to get some rest. Because he felt pity for the crowd awaiting him, however, Jesus took time “to teach them many things.”—Mark 6:30, 31, 34. (excerpted: Imitate the One Who Promises Everlasting Life W May 2015)
THANK YOU:) for patiently reading Part 5 aka 1928 word count!!…and awaiting (possibly) part 6 (potentially in the works, not sure when/(IF) i will be able to finish…this series/project about Jesus. Trying my best.)
Asking myself about “now”…How can i imitate Jesus’ love…today?
(Published today 4/6/15 @ 11:03 a.m.)