Episode 11: One Solitary Life
On Christmas Day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. But just who was Jesus? Jesus was the perfect man. No mind but an infinite mind could have left behind those things which Jesus gave the world as a heritage.
You are invited to listen to the Christmas Day Silver Linings podcast as Terry Lees elaborates on Jesus and the impact his life had, and still has, on our world.
Silver Linings can inspire you towards the achievement of your dreams, to grow, expand, and meet the challenges of your daily life.
Listen to the episode below, or continue on to read the transcript.
Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. But just who was Jesus? Allow me to share two articles that provide answers not normally found in traditional media but are inspirational in reminding us of the true meaning of Christmas.
The first – an editorial from a mainstream newspaper in Memphis, Tennessee written in 1912, by C.P.J. Mooney, titled Jesus the Perfect Man.
There is no other character in history like that of Jesus. As a preacher, as a doer of things, and as a philosopher, no man ever had the sweep and the vision of Jesus. A human analysis of the human actions of Jesus brings to view a rule of life that is amazing in its perfect detail. The system of ethics Jesus taught during His earthly sojourn 2,000 years ago was true then, has been true in every century since and will be true forever.
Plato was a great thinker and learned in his age, but his teachings did not stand the test of time. In big things and in little things time and human experience have shown that he erred. Marcus Aurelius touched the reflective mind of the world, but he was as cold and austere as brown marble. …
Thomas a Kempis’” Imitation of Christ” is a thing of rare beauty and sympathy, but it is, as its name indicates, only an imitation. Sir Thomas More’s” Utopia” is yet a dream that cannot be realised….
Napoleon had the world at his feet for four years, and when he died the world was going on its way as if he had never lived.
JESUS TAUGHT little as to property because He knew there were things of more importance than property. He measured property and life, the body and soul, at their exact relative value. He taught much more as to character, because character is of more importance than dollars. Other men taught us to develop systems of government. Jesus taught so as to perfect the minds of men. Jesus looked to the soul, while other men dwelled on material things.
After the experience of 2,000 years no man can find a flaw in the governmental system outlined by Jesus…. No man today … can find a false principle in Jesus’ theory of property.
In the duty of a man to his fellows, no sociologist has ever approximated the perfection of the doctrine laid down by Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount. Not all the investigations of chemists, not all the discoveries of explorers, not all the experiences of rulers, not all the historical facts that go to make up the sum of human knowledge … are in contradiction to one word uttered or one principle laid down by Jesus.
The human experiences of 2,000 years show that Jesus never made a mistake. Jesus never uttered a doctrine that was true at that time and then became obsolete. Jesus spoke the truth, and the truth is eternal. History has no record of any other man leading a perfect life or doing everything in logical order. Jesus is the only person whose every action and whose every utterance strike a true note in the heart and mind of every man born of woman. He never said a foolish thing, never did a foolish act and never dissembled. No poet, no dreamer, no philosopher loved humanity with all the love that Jesus bore toward all men.
WHO, THEN, was Jesus? He could not have been merely a man, for there never was a man who had two consecutive thoughts absolute in truthful perfection. Jesus must have been what Christendom proclaims Him to be — a divine being — or He could not have been what He was. No mind but an infinite mind could have left behind those things which Jesus gave the world as a heritage.
The second article is attributed to Dr. James Allan Francis, a pastor, who wrote a book based on sermons he gave. His most famous words are these, now titled One Solitary Life.
Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.
He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. He never travelled three hundred kilometres from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself…
While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While He was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth – His coat. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
Twenty long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centrepiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; 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 has that one solitary life.
As you celebrate today, whether alone or with loved ones and friends, pause for a moment to offer thanks for this year and for your own life. And, as you do, I offer you these gift suggestions:
The best thing to give your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent – tolerance; to a friend – your heart;
to a child – good example; to a father – reverence; to a mother – conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself – respect; to all humanity- charity.
Have a happy and holy Christmas and always look for the silver lining.
This is Terry Lees
[Music: Mary Did You Know – Pentatonix]