A mother and her small son were talking and as they talked, her son asked, “Mother, where did you live when Jesus was a boy?” The mother replied, “Why, I wasn’t alive then, son. Jesus lived a long time ago–‐ about 2,000 years ago.” The boy said, “Oh, I thought He lived when you were little. You always seem to be talking about Him.”
It is a wonderful thing to be known as someone who is always talking about Jesus. It is clear that the things we talk about the most are the things that are closest to our hearts. When we think about Jesus, we can talk about his birth. We can talk about his work or we can talk about the relationship he had with his disciples who walked with Him. But, one of the themes that stands out the most in regards to Jesus is that of his influence.
We all should know that true Christianity brings freedom. Jesus said, “to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free . . . If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:31‐32, 36). Thus, Christ frees people from superstitions and the bondage of sin. It puts within them the desire and ability to live above sin. And so, through hearing, believing, and obeying the teaching of Christ, His disciples come to know the truth. They have been influenced by Christ greatly. And so, because of His influence, we can understand that to know the truth is not just to know facts. It is to put into practice that truth.
Truly, Jesus has influenced our world. From the Bible we learn that Jesus raised women to new heights of respect and to honor your mother (John 19:26‐27). In Luke 7:36‐39, it tells of a woman who came and anointed the feet of Jesus in which He impacted her life. In Acts 8‐9, Saul of Tarsus was the chief persecutor of early Christians. He dragged people to prison. When they did not recant their faith, he was a party to their execution. But he had a dramatic encounter with the risen Christ on his way to Damascus and he was transformed from Saul, the enemy of Christianity, to Paul, the main propagator of its message. He let his position of prestige in Jewish society, to become a traveling missionary who experienced incredible suffering in order to share the love of Christ throughout the Roman empire. Jesus changed the life of so many and has greatly influenced the world. Thus, one of the highest standards of living in the world is to hear the Gospel preached and to be able to read, study and apply the Bible to our lives.
Throughout history, the influence Jesus had on the lives of people has never been surpassed. No other great leader has inspired so many positive changes in the lives of his followers. People who know about the risen Christ and yield to the will of His Father and baptized and arise to walk in a new life (Romans 6:3‐4). And so, their outlook on life is altered forever and staying true to their faith, they do not hesitate to face hardship. You know, many focus on themselves in the world. We are grateful to have a Savior who was not focused on Himself, but on you. How has he influenced your life?