One Solitary Life
I have had this writing for many
years. In researching the Internet for the author, I found that most people
believe the author is unknown; however, authorship also has been credited to Dr.
James Allen Francis, one time pastor of the First Baptist Church of Los Angeles.
He used a similar version of this story in a 1926 sermon.
was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman.
He grew up in still another village, where he worked in a carpenter shop until
he was thirty.
Then for three years he was an itinerant preacher.
He never wrote a book. He never held an office.
He never had a family or owned a house. He didn't go to college. He never
visited a big city.
He never traveled 200 miles from the place where he was born.
He did none of the things one usually associates with greatness.
He had no credentials but himself.
He was only 33, when the tide of public opinion turned against him.
His friends ran away. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the
mockery of a trial.
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.
While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property
he had on earth.
When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
Nineteen centuries have come and gone; and today he is the central figure of the
human race and the leader of mankind's progress.
All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed,
All the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put
Have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that ...
ONE SOLITARY LIFE
The thing I love most about this
writing is that it emphasizes the effect that the existence of Jesus Christ has
had upon this world of ours. Could you ever imagine the impact of just one man!
Though we know that it was meant to be this way by God's design, it is still an
overwhelming feat from a human perspective.
As much as I love this writing,
however, I must interject a few thoughts on the first paragraph of this writing:
1. When Mary is referred to as "a
peasant woman", many people assume it to mean "poor". That is not
necessarily the case, since there is no proof to this in writing of either the
Bible or early church writings. She would have been considered a peasant by
Roman standards, who ruled the entire area at the time; since Mary and her
people (who were not part of the Jewish leadership and thus useless to the
Romans) would have been of little consequence to the Roman Empire. However, that
doesn't mean she or her people were poor.
2. The second point I would like to
make is the phrase "itinerant preacher". Again, some people look at these
words and believe that Jesus (and His apostles, as well) were not well read.
Itinerant actually means: nomadic, traveling, or roaming otherwise, they
didn't stay in one place to preach. As to their literacy, Jesus and His apostles
were fairly educated compared to non-Jews in similar circumstances. That is
because all Jewish men were expected to be educated in Hebrew and the Jewish
tradition until 13 years or so, which is why Jesus could read and write. They
also were multilingual, speaking Hebrew (their faith's language) and, at least,
Aramaic, which was the language spoken in the region. With Roman occupancy, it
is also possible they spoke some Latin. As to the Jewish religious leadership,
they would have been considered Jesus and His apostles illiterate. Why? Because
they (presumedly) had only the minimal, required Jewish religious education,
while Jewish teachers of the faith were required to go beyond that minimal
requirement for many more years of religious education.
I just thought you might find
these little tidbits of information interesting.
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