I Know a Man...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I know a baby boy who was born in the most incredible circumstances. His birthplace was an animal barn, but men bowed down before him as if he were royalty. Angels announced his birth. Scholars traveled thousands of miles to bring him gifts. The king of that land was so jealous he attempted to put this baby to death. It was said of this boy that he had no human father.

I know a child who grew up humbly, sweating away in a carpenter’s shop. Yet at the age of twelve he amazed some of the brightest scholars around with his intelligence.

I know a man who was introduced by a voice from the sky that said: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am delighted.”

I know a man who could read people’s minds…see right into the depths of their soul…tell them all about their past as soon as he met them.

I know a man who turned water into wine. He healed a sick young boy from 18 miles away. He touched a man with a deadly skin disease, and the man was completely cleansed. He commanded a paralytic to get up and walk – and the man walked! He touched a coffin and a dead man immediately came to life. He scolded a storm and it stopped. He stood down a lunatic in a graveyard and cast out a multitude of demons. A woman touched the hem of his clothing and her 12-year sickness was healed. He took a twelve year old girl by the hand and raised her from the dead. He gave blind men sight and made a mute man speak and caused a deaf man to hear. He multiplied five loaves of bread and two fish so that they fed over 5,000 people. He walked on water. He shouted into a tomb and a dead man came to life and walked out.

I know a man who said the most amazing things:
“Unless you are born again, you cannot see the kingdom of God”
“Everyone who drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst”
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.”
“Love your enemies”
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth…but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven”
“Do not be anxious for your life…but seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness”
“Do unto others and you would have them do unto you”
“Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest”
“Whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother”
“Do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
“The very hairs of your head are numbered, therefore do not fear”
“He who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for my sake shall find it”
 “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?
“If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed”
“The last will be first, and the first will be last”
“Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted”
“There is joy in heaven over one sinner who repents”
“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much fruit”
“I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will not hunger, and he who believes in me will never thirst. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life”
“I am the light of the world; the one who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
“I am the door; if anyone enters through me, he will be saved”
“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
“I am the resurrection and the life”
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me.”
“I am the true vine, and you are the branches”
“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

I know a man who reached out to the outcasts of society: fishermen, foreigners, tax collectors, prostitutes, and notorious sinners.

I know a man who told people the truth about our condition:
“Men loved the darkness rather than the light, for their deeds were evil”
 “Everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty… Everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her in his heart”
“Whoever loves father or mother or son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.”
“I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance”
 “Unless you repent, you will perish”

I know a man who wept with compassion for crowds of people, and spoke good news to them, and healed the sick.

I know a man who claimed to be the fulfillment of hundreds of centuries-old prophecies. Claimed to be the Son of God. Claimed to be the maker of the universe. Claimed to have authority to judge everyone. Claimed to be sent by God. Claimed to be one with God. Claimed to be the only way to God. Claimed that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.

I know a man who was transfigured before three of his friends. His face shone like the sun, and his clothing became as white as light. Again, a voice from the sky said, “This is my beloved Son, my chosen one – listen to him!”

I know a man who said he would be killed by government authorities, then rise from the dead after three days.

I know a man who rode into a city on a donkey and was hailed as king by crowds of people.

I know a man who talked down a mob of intellectuals looking to trap him in his words.

I know a man who got down on his knees and washed the dusty feet of his followers.

I know a man who claimed that he existed from eternity past.

I know a man who was forsaken by all. Rejected by his family. Feared by the government. Hated by religious leaders. Betrayed by a companion. Denied by his chief disciple. Abandoned by his closest friends in the hour of his greatest pain.

I know a man who sweated drops of blood out of agony for what awaited him.

I know a man who allowed himself to be arrested on false pretenses. He was tried by a biased court, testified against with lies. He was charged with blasphemy and troublemaking. He was found not guilty but sentenced to death anyway. The man who calmed wild storms allowed himself to be cruelly mocked. The man who healed the sick was viciously whipped. A large ring of long thorns was beaten into his skull. He was lifted up on a rough wooden frame. For hours he bled in plain view of the crowds. His power was questioned, his words were ridiculed, his claim to be God was scorned. Despite his agony, he offered forgiveness. Darkness fell over the land in the middle of the day, as this man endured the wrath of God. This sinless man took the punishment for my sins and your sins and the sins of men, women, and children from every age and every nation. Then this man shouted “It is finished” and gave up his life.

I know a man whose body lay in a common tomb for three days, but who could not be overcome by death. I know a man who was raised to life as proof that everything he said was true. He is God. He can forgive sins. He can grant eternal life.

I know a man who appeared to hundreds of people as proof of his resurrection.

I know a man who forgave those who abandoned him.

I know a man who promised his followers: “I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

I know a man who rose up into the clouds, but promised to return someday to rule over the earth and to be with his people. Today - this very moment - he is alive and well.

I don’t just know about this man… I know him. I’ve met him. He calls me his brother and his friend. He has forgiven my sins and given me life. And it’s my joy to announce that you can know him too! His name is Jesus.


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