Vantage Point - How Will Jesus Impact You?

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Vantage Point - How Will Jesus Impact You?

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One measure of greatness is the impact a person makes on the world. In our studies most of us have been introduced to the contributions of the Greek thinker Pythagoras to mathematics, of Galileo Galilei to astronomy, of Sir Isaac Newton to physics, of Florence Nightingale to nursing and of Louis Pasteur to medicine.

Although all of these distinguished people have long since died, their scientific work and service ensures that they will not be forgotten. This is their legacy.

Jesus of Nazareth also has a legacy. From His eternal, divine preexistence and His miraculous virgin birth to the miracles He performed, the teachings He proclaimed, the immense sacrifice He made and His death-defying resurrection to life again as a divine spirit Being, He has no human equal. His brief, 33-year stint as a man has affected the world in profound ways.

Jesus is credited with changing the status of women in the Western world from that of inferior nonpersons to respected members of society. His ideals have been cited by nations in their foundational documents of government. His teaching that every person is to be respected was an influential underpinning in the abolition of slavery in Britain and the United States.

In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus advocated loving our enemies and doing good to those who mistreat us. His influence was so strong that today approximately 2 billion people describe themselves as Christians—followers of Him.

Yet for all His influence, there is a surprising amount of confusion regarding His life and how He would have us live. Many don't know how to deal with the fact that Jesus was a Jew and that He lived accordingly. Reflecting this confusion, it has been estimated that there are more than 38,000 Christian denominations in the world today, each with its own understanding of Jesus' life and teaching.

Some see no problem with all these competing versions of Christianity. "As long as we all believe in Jesus, it doesn't really matter what we think or do" is a common belief. But that isn't what Jesus taught. In Matthew 7:21 the Man Himself said, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven."

Jesus' point is that He isn't just interested in being remembered for His social impact on the world. He also wants people to enter God's Kingdom through obedience to God's instructions. As the Bible explains, Jesus is seeking children of God who will live forever in the Kingdom (John 1:12; Galatians 3:26). Now that's a legacy!

In this issue we address the important matters of the real, authentic Jesus and His expectations of you. Don't believe in a counterfeit Jesus. Don't accept an altered gospel. Live like Jesus lived, and you'll become part of the enduring legacy He is still passing on to mankind. VT