Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Jesus of Nazareth
the new american ^ | James J. Drummey

Posted on 12/24/2008 7:30:21 PM PST by Coleus

His birthday is celebrated throughout the world this month. Though he lived on earth only 33 years, today's date is measured from when he was born. Though he lived in an obscure corner of the Roman Empire nearly 2,000 years ago, more than one billion people today call themselves his followers. Though he never wrote a book, tens of thousands of books have been written about his life and his teachings. His name is Jesus, and he has had a more salutary influence on human history than any person who ever lived.  It was an unknown author who offered this striking summary of Jesus' impact on the history of the past 20 centuries: "I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as this one solitary life."

According to the four Gospels, which scholars have shown to be reliable historical works, Jesus Christ was born in a stable in Bethlehem, a town in Roman-occupied Palestine, around 4 BC. His birth was attended by shepherds and heralded by angels singing, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men of good will." After a flight into Egypt to escape the murderous wrath of King Herod, the infant Jesus returned to Palestine with his parents, Mary and Joseph, and grew up in the village of Nazareth, where he worked in Joseph's carpenter shop.  At the age of 30 Jesus left Nazareth, gathered around him 12 men who became known as his apostles, and traveled throughout Palestine preaching love of God and love of neighbor and attracting followers by the thousands because he spoke with authority. He was a marvelous storyteller, illustrating his teachings with examples about persons, places, and things that were familiar to his listeners. Jesus spoke of fishermen casting their nets, farmers harvesting their fields, laborers working in the vineyards, shepherds chasing after their lost sheep, and a pompous religious leader lording it over a humble and repentant sinner.

The parables of Christ are often cited even by non-Christians as literary and moral masterpieces for the simple yet profound messages they convey. To answer the question, "Who is my neighbor?" Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan a bitter enemy of the Jews who nevertheless assisted a Jewish man left for dead by robbers after two of the victim's countrymen had ignored his plight.  To illustrate the forgiveness of God, Jesus related the tale of the Prodigal Son, the younger of two boys who took his share of the family's wealth, spent it all on loose living, and returned home shamefaced and repentant. His father, representing God, not only forgave his son but threw a party for him because the young man "was lost, and is found."

The core of Jesus' moral code was love, not only of God and neighbor but even of enemies. He adhered to this difficult standard himself on the cross by asking forgiveness for those who had crucified him. "This is my commandment: Love one another as I have loved you," Jesus told the apostles at the Last Supper. "There is no greater love than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." He exemplified this love himself by dying on the cross for the sins of the world.  Jesus urged his followers personally to help those in need — the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, the imprisoned, saying that whatever they did "for one of my least brothers, you did it for me." He asked them to forgive the faults of others and laid down the Golden Rule: "Treat others the way you would have them treat you." He forbade murder and adultery, anger and hatred, and encouraged prayer, fasting, and sacrifice, saying that "if a man wishes to come after me, he must deny his very self, take up his cross, and follow in my steps."

Thousands of people were drawn to Jesus by his tenderness and compassion for the sick and the suffering ("Come to me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you"); by his mercy and forgiveness toward sinners (When the Pharisees criticized him for associating with sinners, Jesus said, "People who are healthy do not need a doctor; sick people do"); and by his courage and fearlessness (He chased the moneychangers out of the temple and condemned the hypocrisy of the Scribes and Pharisees, comparing them to "whitewashed tombs -— beautiful to look at on the outside but inside full of filth and dead men's bones").

Angry at Jesus' criticism of them and jealous of the crowds that followed him, the Pharisees sent clever men out to question Jesus while he was speaking in the hope of tripping him up. But he confounded them time and again, as when they asked him if it were lawful to pay taxes to the hated Romans, and he replied: "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, but give to God what is God's." Or when they asked if a woman caught in adultery should be stoned to death, and Christ said: "Let the man among you who has no sin be the first to cast a stone at her." But Christians throughout the world believe that Jesus was more than just a good and holy man; they believe that he was the Son of God, the Messiah promised in the Old Testament. As evidence of their belief, Christians cite the fulfillment in Jesus of Old Testament prophecies regarding the place and circumstances of the Messiah's birth, the betrayal and suffering he would endure, and the manner in which he would die.

But the most convincing evidence of Jesus' claim to be God, they say, was the spectacular miracles he performed before hundreds and even thousands of eyewitnesses ("These very works which I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me"). The Gospels report that he changed water into wine; cured the blind, deaf, and lame; exorcised demons from people; fed thousands with only a few loaves of bread and fishes; and raised three people from the dead.  The raising of Lazarus four days after he had died was the last straw as far as the chief priests and Pharisees were concerned and they plotted to kill Jesus, getting unexpected help from one of Christ's own apostles, Judas, who was willing to betray his master for 30 pieces of silver. Jesus was arrested late at night, put through the mockery of a trial, beaten and tortured, and finally put to death on the orders of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor.

The followers of Jesus thought that they had seen the last of him when his body was taken down from the cross and placed in a borrowed grave outside Jerusalem nearly 2,000 years ago. But three days later, according to the Gospels, the tomb was found to be empty and more than a dozen people reported having seen Jesus alive that Sunday. Over the next 40 days, Jesus was reportedly seen in different places at different times by individuals, by small groups of people, and by large groups, including a crowd of 500. On the 40th day, according to reliable eyewitness accounts, Jesus gave his apostles their final instructions — to carry his teachings "to the ends of the earth." He promised to remain with his church "until the end of the world" and then rose up into the heavens.

Whatever attitude people hold toward Jesus Christ, whether they believe him to be God or not, there is no question that if his teachings were faithfully followed by everyone, the world would be a better and more peaceful place in which to live. Merry Christmas! This article originally appeared in the December 22, 1986 issue of The New American.

TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: christmas; moralabsolutes; tna
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-23 next last

1 posted on 12/24/2008 7:30:21 PM PST by Coleus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Coleus

Jesus, my Lord and savior.

2 posted on 12/24/2008 7:38:51 PM PST by doc1019
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Coleus


3 posted on 12/24/2008 7:43:34 PM PST by ROLF of the HILL COUNTRY ( The Constitution needs No interpreting, only APPLICATION!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Coleus

Thanks for posting this... Merry Christmas.

Jesus is my Lord and Savior.

4 posted on 12/24/2008 7:43:43 PM PST by SeaBiscuit (God Bless America.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Coleus

His Blood redeems us of our sins.

5 posted on 12/24/2008 8:04:29 PM PST by pcottraux (I can't tell the difference between Carl Cameron, Chris Wallace, or Bill McCuddy.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Coleus

Thankin’ God for the Gift of His Son.

What great Love He must have for us.

6 posted on 12/24/2008 8:05:33 PM PST by bannie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: doc1019

John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Amen brother, have a very Merry Christmas.

7 posted on 12/24/2008 8:05:51 PM PST by Colorado Cowgirl (God bless America!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Colorado Cowgirl

They same to you.

8 posted on 12/24/2008 8:12:06 PM PST by doc1019
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Coleus

Thanks for posting this article.

Merry Christmas.

Here’s a present for you, and everyone as well.

9 posted on 12/24/2008 8:12:59 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (The Last Boy Scout)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


We can’t fully experience God’s great love for us, this side of heaven. But what an experience it will be one day, for those of us who have submitted our lives to Christ.

Thank you Heavenly Father, for the gift of Your Son, Christ Jesus.

10 posted on 12/24/2008 8:23:41 PM PST by Joyell
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Coleus

Thanks ,that helped me remember Christmas how it should be remembered

11 posted on 12/24/2008 8:33:41 PM PST by minman (Americans stand up for your rights)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Coleus

That message of Jesus and why He came and what He accomplished in order to give us salvation is important. However, we are now in a time in which a different Jesus is coming than the One we saw before...

This is the message that I’m posting to the “Christmas threads” as people contemplate Jesus and this Christmas Day.

I am writing the “Christmas message” that I see is more appropriate in our present time — the time of the return of Jesus Christ, the one spoken about that we refer to at Christmas time. As I come across the “Christmas threads”, this is the message I think is more appropriate for the time.

The returning Christ is the One who comes as conquering King and goes into battle, killing millions upon millions of people and returns to Jerusalem with blood splattered on his garments from that battle with the people on this earth.

This is the Jesus that we should be thinking about now, because we are very close to that Jesus, as we think about this Christmas day, today...

We are now living in the time for which more is said in the Bible than the time when Jesus came the first time (about two times as much said about these times than the time when Jesus came the first time).

The time we are in, now, is when Jesus will be returning again, setting up His Kingdom on earth, ruling over the nations, from His world-wide government in Israel. We are in the time of the final fulfillment of prophecy.

Now is the time to shift from the focus of when Jesus was born, to the focus of — this is the time Jesus is returning. When He returns, he will be returning as a conquering King — and He will be righteously angry at the Muslims. When He returns, he will go into battle with those nations and peoples who have tried to destroy Israel, and upon returning from that battle, his garments will be splattered with the blood of the millions upon millions that He will have killed.

That’s when He returns to Israel and sets up the Kingdom, that world-wide government, in which He rules with a rod of iron.

I think we had better be thinking about the conquering King, going into battle and killing millions of people — instead of the baby Jesus, slumbering peacefully...

Isaiah 9:6-7

For unto us a Child is born.
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

That peace comes only after 2/3 of the world’s population is killed in the judgements of God and only after Jesus goes to battle against the Muslims and those nations who wish to destroy Israel and kill all Jews.

Psalm 83

1 A Song. A Psalm of Asaph. Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, And do not be still, O God!

2 For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; And those who hate You have lifted up their head.

3 They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, And consulted together against Your sheltered ones.

4 They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”

5 For they have consulted together with one consent; They form a confederacy against You:

6 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagrites;

7 Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;

8 Assyria also has joined with them; They have helped the children of Lot. Selah

9 Deal with them as with Midian, As with Sisera, As with Jabin at the Brook Kishon,

10 Who perished at En Dor, Who became as refuse on the earth.

11 Make their nobles like Oreb and like Zeeb, Yes, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,

12 Who said, “Let us take for ourselves The pastures of God for a possession.”

13 O my God, make them like the whirling dust, Like the chaff before the wind!

14 As the fire burns the woods, And as the flame sets the mountains on fire,

15 So pursue them with Your tempest, And frighten them with Your storm.

16 Fill their faces with shame, That they may seek Your name, O Lord.

17 Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; Yes, let them be put to shame and perish,

18 That they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord, Are the Most High over all the earth.

Psalm 2

1 Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing?

2 The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,

3 “Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.”

4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision.

5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure:

6 “Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.”

7 “I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.

8 Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.

9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ “
10 Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth.

11 Serve the Lord with fear, And rejoice with trembling.

12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

Think about His coming again and coming to make war...

12 posted on 12/24/2008 8:40:51 PM PST by Star Traveler
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Coleus
My Lord, my God, my Salvation...

“I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”...Apostle Paul

Immanuel...Our God is with us, and if God is with us...who can stand against us..... Tonight our light has shined...

Michael Card - Immanuel

Merry Christmas...!
13 posted on 12/24/2008 8:56:14 PM PST by PigRigger (Donate to - The Troops have our front covered, let's guard their backs!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Coleus

Palestine appears way too much in this article, It is only mentioned once in the Bible, Israel appears 2576 times in the Bible. The Holy land belongs to Israel, and it doesn’t matter if it hair lips the Queen of England or P O s the Pope or it infuriates every Muslim on the planet. Let God be true but every man a liar.

14 posted on 12/24/2008 9:01:10 PM PST by Colorado Cowgirl (God bless America!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Coleus
Christmas and the Eucharist(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)

Preface: Memories of Christmas
Christmas Overview
The Manger -- Nativity Scene -- Crêche
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Christmas Quiz; How Much Do You Really Know?

Christmas Prayers: Prayers and Collects for the Feast of the Nativity
[Christmas] Customs from Various Countries and Cultures
The 12 Days of Christmas and Christmastide: A Rich Catholic Tradition
The 12 Days of Christmas -- Activities, Customs, Prayers, Blessings, Hymns -- For the Family
Iraqis Crowd Churches for Christmas Mass

Pope Wishes the World a Merry Christmas
On this night, a comforting message(Merry Christmas!)
Advent through Christmas -- 2007
Bethlehem beyond the Christmas calm
The Origin of Nativity Scenes

Various Orthodox Texts for the Feast of the Nativity
The Five Best Christmas Stories
What Are We Celebrating When We Celebrate Christmas?
Secular Christmas Celebration Pointless, Pope Says
The Wonder of Christmas - 1959

The Real Meaning of Christmas Lights
Top ten Carols and things you didn't know about them
The Nativity of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
Christmas Proclamation
Christmas gifts are a reminder of Jesus, the greatest gift given to mankind, Pope tells youth

The Senses of Christmas
Pope celebrates Christmas mass
Christmas: The Turning Point of History
The Original Christmas Story
Bringing Christmas to Life Again

Christmas: the beginning of our redemption
Christmas and the Eucharist
Catholic Caucus: The 16 Days of Christmas (Christmas to the Baptism of the Lord)
Origin of the Twelve Days of Christmas [An Underground Catechism]
Origin of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" [Underground Catechism]

15 posted on 12/24/2008 9:18:56 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Coleus

And no one else will ever have the impact that Jesus has...because....

Jesus is God manifest in the flesh!

Just think of it, God Himself took on the form of human flesh and visited this earth. And not only visited but gave us the gift of eternal life in Him.

“He who has the Son has life.”

16 posted on 12/24/2008 9:35:01 PM PST by Cedar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Coleus
Though he lived on earth only 33 years, today's date is measured from when he was born.

It it is known by popular culture as BCE.

17 posted on 12/24/2008 9:43:30 PM PST by Archie Bunker on steroids (Joe Stalin giggles in his grave)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Coleus

For unto us a child is born,
Unto us a son is given,
and the government will be on His shoulders.
And He will be called
Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace. . . . (Isaiah 9:6)

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” . . . . (John 20:27-29)

18 posted on 12/24/2008 10:09:32 PM PST by RetiredArmyMajor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Coleus

Thank you Coleus for posting this.



19 posted on 12/24/2008 11:04:24 PM PST by Cindy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Archie Bunker on steroids
It it is known by popular culture as BCE.

It still measures from the same event. And I don't know anyone who actually uses BCE - I think you have to reach a certain level of pretentiousness to do that.

20 posted on 12/24/2008 11:32:49 PM PST by xjcsa (And these three remain: change, hope and government. But the greatest of these is government.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-23 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson