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The Name That Spans Time*

For over 2,000 years, the name of Jesus—singularly and uniquely—stands above all other names in the history of mankind. The name elicits fervent worship and zealous admiration by unprecedented numbers of people around the world.

Yet, Jesus, while on earth, possessed nothing of the earthly endowments that assured others a place in history. He said of Himself, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Luke 9:58). Jesus had no formal education, yet the Jews marveled at His authority: “How is it that this man has learning, when He has never studied?” (John 7:14-15).

Jesus spent 30 years of His life working as a carpenter, yet when teaching in the synagogue in His hometown, the local people were amazed. They asked where Jesus got such wisdom and miraculous powers. They knew He was a carpenter's son, His mother's name was Mary, and Jesus had brothers and sisters. So where did He get all these abilities? Everyone took offense at Him! (Matthew 13:54-57).

Jesus’ Legendary Name

Jesus possessed nothing of human value on earth, yet the name of Jesus is unmatched and without comparison to any other name in history. What name has been so much remembered and universally praised as the name of Jesus? It has been imprinted by oral and written word in every language and dialect in the world. Jesus is the most universally recognized icon who ever lived.

When Jesus was born in a humble stable in Bethlehem, an announcement was made to remote shepherds and a vision given to Far East scholars. They were led to Him—and they worshiped Him. Worldly kings and inhabitants of the world alike were frightened and disturbed because of Jesus’ birth, yet from then until now, His birth has been celebrated universally—with sounds of joy and gladness—every Christmas.

The birth of Christ is a landmark for mankind’s progress on many fronts. History, civilization (culture), politics, society, economy, morality, customs, and traditions—all have been impacted by His appearance.

Researchers on Western civilization acknowledge this impact. Historian Bancroft once said: “I can see the name of Jesus on every page written in contemporary history.” Swiss historian Von Muller also opined: “Christ is the key to world history.” Today, the source of terms such as universal love, sacrifice, freedom, equality, and human rights can be traced to the descent of Christ from Heaven to Earth as an unshakable truth.

The Name Spread Through Persecution

Many of Jesus’ twelve apostles were fishermen, born of low social status. One of them betrayed Him, another denied Him three times. The rest all fled out of fear at Jesus’ arrest. As such, it seemed the apostles of Christ had vanished completely. But not so! Every single one of them (except Judas who betrayed Him) began to spread the gospel with dauntless courage—even facing imminent danger of beatings, torture, and threats of death! Nothing held back their zeal and passion for spreading the gospel in the name of Jesus Christ, their personal Savior and Lord!

Today, wherever Christian faith is spread in opposition to idolatry and pagan practices, violent persecution inevitably follows. Even so, the growth of Christian churches has never subsided. During Roman rule, over ten episodes of persecution erupted within a span of 300 years (each episode lasting a dozen years or more) resulting in millions of martyrs who died for their faith in Jesus. In the end, however, even Roman kings and many of their citizens converted to Christianity.

In the last 2,000 years, the number of people converting to Christ has been increasing. It is estimated that one third of the world’s population is now turning to Christian beliefs, reflecting the impact of believing families who are passing on their faith to their children and grandchildren. In every corner of the globe, every Sunday, countless people flock to Christian churches to worship Jesus!

The Transforming Progress of Society

In societies where Jesus’ name is spread, there is an accompanying positive transformation. China is a good example. The old practices of slave maids, drowning daughters, binding the feet of young girls, prevalence of concubines, premature marriages, and blind ancestral worship—all have been impacted step by step by the coming of Christianity. The pioneering work of Christianity is clearly depicted in established hospitals, orphanages, nursing homes, and shelter homes for prostitutes and abandoned women. Also established are youth centers, farm village services, refuges for street beggars, schools for the deaf and blind, The Red Cross Society, refugee camps, lepers’ homes, and childcare protective centers. Church-run schools are also helping reform education from the core, and church-run hospitals are introducing new skills enabling patients to be treated with modern methods. The Bible is being translated into vernacular dialects all over China, helping to educate the illiterate public, especially in the rural areas.

Individuals who have come to have a personal relationship with Jesus are able to leave lives of sin and darkness and live in the light of God’s presence. With Christ at the center, their lives have meaning. And they are assured of their destiny after death. Jesus gives that assurance as He announced in John 11:25-26, “I am the resurrection and the life, whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live; and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.”

Jesus Seeps into Every Part of Society

Even though Jesus was not an artist, He has inspired the best-known painters of the world, and the imagination of the best-known engravers of the world. They created the most exquisite paintings and engravings ever seen.

Even though Jesus was not a musician, He has impacted great musicians to produce lasting melodies and music for people’s listening pleasure. Every day, countless people in the world sing praises to God through such remarkable music.

Even though Jesus was not a writer, He has revealed Himself to many proficient writers, who, using Jesus as the theme, have produced volumes of literature for readers all over the world.

Even though Jesus was not an architect, there exist in this world monumental architectural buildings of utmost grandeur, reflecting the beauty and nobility of Jesus, where countless people gather to enjoy and worship Him.

Even though Jesus was not an educator, tens of thousands of schools from primary to university level have Jesus as the anchor point for their instruction—communicated through thinking, speaking, and writing.

Even though Jesus was not a military leader, His flag is a symbol of the cross, calling millions of people to surrender to Him. He never fired a bullet but can conquer any human heart to yield to Him.

Even though Jesus was not a politician, many kings and political leaders have bowed their knees to Him, hailing Him as “Lord of Lords” and “King of Kings.” Napoleon once said: “Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded his empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for him.”

Jesus is so singularly unique throughout the passing ages of time that rational minds simply cannot explain or appraise the extent of His supreme worthiness! He cannot be compared to any other heroic or noble world figure, because—as man—He was also the Son of the Eternal God! It is because of this that He has the role of Savior of all believing mankind.

The name of JESUS! What a Savior!

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

*This article was extracted from Chinese Today, Issue 699, July 2020, and was translated into English Philip Yu. He attends Rutgers Community Christian Church in New Jersey with his wife, Kelly Kwok Hoi Wong, a contract editor for CCM.

Article Link: http://ccmusa.org/read/read.aspx?id=chg20220202
To reuse online, please credit Challenger, Apr-Jun 2022. CCMUSA.