By Dr. Ron Carlson
He possessed no certificates, nor degrees. He never traveled farther than 100 miles from the place he was b sorn. He lived and moved among the common people.
He was not an author. He wrote no books, composed no poems, compiled no documents, edited no papers, nor contributed to any periodicals. The only sentence he ever wrote was a single line in the sand which disappeared the same day. No letter of it was preserved. He never used a fountain pen, typewriter, or personal computer. We have no line, word, or syllable from his hand. And yet, more books have been written about him and his words than any other man. He has affected the lives of more people than all the authors of all the ages. The story of his life has been translated into more than 1800 languages, read by countless millions, and is the best-selling story every year.
He was not an orator; yet no man spoke as this man. His discourses have become the theme of millions of addresses. His words are simple and clear. Very few adjectives are used, yet his sentences abound with beauty, meaning, and grace. His sayings are hammered into polished marble, chiseled into imperishable granite, wrought into enduring bronze tablets, fashioned in stained glass windows of numberless churches, etched in rich mosaics upon temple walls, and set in arched domes of colossal cathedrals. His words are literary gems. He stands as the unequaled seer of all literature. Shakespeare, Milton, and Emerson bow their heads in his presence, recognizing a superior.
He was not a poet; yet he has inspired thousands of poets to utter their most sublime expressions.
He was not a musician; yet he inspired Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Handel, and countless others.
He was not an artist, nor a sculptor, nor a painter. He never handled a brush nor wielded a chisel. He was a stranger to the palette and canvas; yet he was the inspiration for Raphael, Michelangelo, Hofmann, and so many more.
He was not a lawyer; yet he knew the law, interpreted it, and applied it to the relationships which should prevail among men. He himself became the fountainhead of righteousness.
He was not a doctor; yet he healed the sick, opened blind eyes, unstopped deaf ears, cleansed the leper, and raised the dead.
He was not a statesman; he never held nor aspired to official position. He did not delve into politics, but he did found a kingdom.
He was not a general; yet he became the conqueror of the world.
In war or in peace, in good times or bad, it remains true that no single word grips the hearts of men and women like the name of Jesus.
To say that history bears his imprint is putting it much too mildly. Lecky, the historian, speaks without exaggeration when he declares, “The simple record of three short years of Christ’s active life has done more to regenerate mankind than any other influence that has ever been felt on earth.”
If anyone doubts this, just let him try and imagine what it would be like in this world of (current year) if suddenly the name of Jesus were torn from us and with it everything for which it stands.
Life is hard enough as it is. It would be intolerable without the message of Christmas. It would be unbearable without the song of Easter.