“We know Jesus of Nazareth was a historical person, a human being who lived his convictions even to the point of death. He bore witness in his time and context to a God of compassion and unconditional forgiveness. He healed and exorcised. He rejected violence and included public outcasts in his table-fellowship. He stood…for a domination free order. As Christians we believe, furthermore, that God emerged most fully in Jesus. By faith, we hold that Jesus the Christ makes God present to us.
May I live my life in imitation of the life of Jesus.
In the context of my time, how do I bear witness to a God of compassion and unconditional forgiveness? Am I conditioned by prejudice and public opinion not to include certain people in my compassion and forgiveness? What does the life of Christ witness to me?
Then Jesus began traveling through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every illness. When he saw the crowds, he was deeply moved with compassion for them, because they were troubled and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is vast, but the workers are few. So ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.”
Matthew 9:35 -37
For in Him all the fullness of God dwells in bodily form.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love… My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you…You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.This is my command: Love each other.
I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creation of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him.
As the centuries pass, the evidence is accumulating that, measured by His effect on history, Jesus is the most influential life ever lived on this planet.
Kenneth Scott Latourette
As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene….No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.
The message of Christ is not Christianity. The message of Christ is Christ.
The Jews tried to keep Christ contained within their law, while the Greeks sought to turn Him into a philosophy; the Romans made of Him an empire; the Europeans reduced Him to a culture, and we Americans have made a business of Him.
J.B. Phillips, Your God Is Too Small
The demands of Jesus are difficult because they require us to do something extraordinary. At the same time He asks us to regard these [acts of goodness] as something usual, ordinary.