There was a man whose life began in the most humble of settings. He was literally born in a barn. His parents were very young and poor. He grew up learning the trade of carpentry. In all historical documents none of them can claim any true offenses this man made toward anyone. In fact all documents describe this man as loving, peaceful, and one who healed the sick. Very early in his life there were those who wanted him dead. A king even had all baby boys within the age range of this young fella in the land murdered to try to get rid of him. He walked the earth for just a mere 33 years. As he grew he exhibited love and peace to all. His words pierced to the very core of those who listened and embraced them. As he grew older and started spreading his message of the way to everlasting life there were people who were very jealous and hated him. You see even though he had no money, no home, no assets he was a man of great power and influence. The love and peace that flowed from him were more powerful than any political sect, more powerful than the rich, and more powerful than religious leaders. The power of love he demonstrated caused him to have tremendous influence. Once again his life was sought after by those who were jealous and threatened by him. With no true offense that could be found in him the jealous ones still managed to succeed in having him put to death in the most gruesome way known.
This man is Jesus. Still today I continuously hear of certain sects that can not stand any symbol of this man that walked the earth 2000 years ago. Any scenes that reflect the story of his humble birth and the cross the symbol of his gruesome death are highly offensive and hated by some. Why would a man that was loving and peaceful who was murdered for doing nothing wrong offend some? You see it was who this man claimed that he was and through his resurrection proved to be that is offensive to many. Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, God in the flesh, Emmanuel God with us, and the Light of the World. He claimed to be the Savior of the world. The prophesied long awaited Messiah had come. You see to acknowledge Jesus, who he is, and why he lived on this earth is to also acknowledge that there was a need for him. That need is to save us from the human sinful nature we all have that separates us from God.
Our human nature being full of pride and selfishness has a hard time facing the fact that we are wrong. That we need saving. There are many stories about people who have been imprisoned for years that have been terrified of being free out in the world. You see the walls of their cell became their comfort zone. The same goes for us when enslaved by sin. It becomes our comfort zone. We are fearful of freedom. It takes a step of faith to leave our sinful cell and to step into the freedom only found in following Jesus Christ.
Maybe the name of Jesus is so offensive because there has been no other man to make such an impact. What other man’s name is praised by those who love him and used as a curse word of those who hate him. His impact is undeniable. The change of his disciples who were terrified the night of his arrest to the point after his resurrection they gave up their own lives sharing the good news of everlasting life through Jesus. The change happens to this day as he brings peace, forgiveness, and freedom one heart at a time to those who choose to step out of the cell of sin to follow him.
John 8:12 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”