Friday, July 4, 2014

The influence of Jesus Christ on mankind (Part I)

I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.- H.G. Wells, British Historian and Novelist

Little did anyone know in the time of Christ that this man would single-handedly change the course of human history. Many skeptics argue that the impact of Jesus - no doubt a great man - is often exaggerated by his followers. One of the skeptic's claims is that it was Paul, not Jesus, who is largely responsible for the spread of Christianity. This claim itself comes under doubt once we find the meaning of the word 'influence'. Surely Paul had a burning motive - or rather an 'engine' - that propelled him to spread the Gospel all over Europe and Asia Minor. Paul's engine was none other than Jesus Christ as is evident from his letters to the first century churches. He says to the church in Galatia,

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 NIV)

The non-violent movement

So how did Christ influence the world? After he lived his earthly life Christ introduced radical principals by which his followers lived. In Europe, the Roman empire severely cracked down on the disciples of Christ because of the refusal of Christians to bow down and worship Caesar. They were hacked down, burned, scourged, crucified, beheaded and thrown to the lions. But the Christians did not retaliate. History has it that the Christians, despite suffering greatly under the empire, actually helped their Roman and Greek neighbors in times of trouble. The Romans were astonished at this non-violent behavior from Christians.

Leo Tolstoy
In 1894, Leo Tolstoy - famed author (War and Peace, Anna Karenina) - wrote a book called 'The Kingdom of God Is Within You'. In this book Tolstoy underlined the non-violent principles of Jesus Christ and it's effectiveness. He gave his book to a certain Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, an Indian lawyer living in South Africa, who used it to fight the British Empire. Gandhi's non-violent resistance left the British shell-shocked and eventually India became independent as a result of his commitment to the passive resistance method.

Later. in 1960s, Martin Luther King would adopt similar means in his campaign for racial equality in the United States. He said, "Christ showed me the way, Gandhi showed me the method."

Causes of the oppressed

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. (Luke 4:18-19 NIV)

These were the words Jesus spoke at the time of his ministry. Before Christ came, it was considered normal to abuse human rights, to violate agreements between each other, to bully the weakling and show utter ruthlessness. The Roman Empire stood for everything of the twisted nature of mankind, it was a glorified celebration of the fall of man. Then in 1st century Anno Domini, a man called Jesus was born into a poor family of Roman occupied Palestine. This man, a Jew, challenged the very notion of Empire by feeding the hungry, healing the sick and giving sight to the blind. This man promoted compassion, charity, humanitarianism, universal brotherhood and, above all, love for all. These qualities were all but nonexistent during the reign of Caesar, but after the ascension of Christ they spread like wildfire.

William Wilberforce
As time went on and the message of Christ spread further and further, human morality seemed to have evolved as is evident in the fabric of history. Slavery, considered normal in many parts of the world, began to be despised. William Wilberforce (1759 - 1833), an Englishman and a devout follower of Christ, started an intense political campaign to rid the British Isles of slavery. Taking inspiration from Jesus' undying determination, Wilberforce, after scores of failures, finally succeeded in abolishing slavery. The United States of America would follow suit.

Today, there are countless numbers of organizations like Amnesty International and the One Campaign dedicated to social justice and humanitarianism around the world. Thanks to Jesus, bullying the weak is no longer considered normal by a large portion of humanity. Thanks to Jesus, there is such a thing called social justice.


"I believe only and alone in the service of Jesus Christ. In him is all refuge and solace." - Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) German Astronomer

The field of science has been no less touched by the hand of Jesus Christ. Pioneers and visionaries such as Isaac Newton, Galileo and Leonardo Da Vinci had felt the influence of Christ on their works. Many scientists today have felt the truth of Christ in their research and discoveries.

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. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) German-born physicist


  1. Brother, lovely writeup indeed! Jesus was the "Game Changer." Apart from the irrefutable facts you mentioned about Him, may I humbly add that we need to heed to what He commanded us, as He is our Creator as well.