It’s official; Jesus is no longer relevant and apparently never was!
Well, that certainly is not true in my mind, heart, spirit and soul, and I
know there are many millions of others who similarly agree with me, but the modern media has hit a new low.
National Geographic magazine has always been a well-respected magazine in the past, acclaimed for its intense documentaries and amazing photography on some challenging topics. Though I believe in the Biblical creation and its timeline, National Geographic produces spectacular images beyond our universe that they argue in favor of their secular “Big Bang Theory, evolution, and an existence without a god.
Walking through a grocery store the other day, I caught a glimpse of the cover of the latest special edition of National Geographic titled The Most Influential Figures Of Ancient History. My curiosity got the best of me as I picked up the magazine and scanned through the pages, looking for our beloved Jesus Christ to certainly being named and featured between the magazine’s covers. After all, this magazine recently found it relevant to publish a full featured article on the life and history of the beloved Mother Mary. Proof we are living in a broken world headed for destruction as Jesus was not found in the table of contents, and only a passing two short paragraphs on Christianity and its beginning.
Really? How can Jesus NOT be mentioned as the MOST influential of all time? Jesus the Christ is the Cornerstone of the largest of all religious faith groups known as Christianity that worldwide has an estimated four billion followers of the earth’s population. Have the editors gone mad, or is this simply some kind of publicity stunt? It did get me to pick it up and search to see who made the list and who did not.
This August 2016 edition is divided into four chapters, covering the time periods beginning with the kingdom of Mesopotamian through to Emperor Constantine’s reign. Jesus the Son of God clearly fits into this timeline. I won’t claim to be an ancient historian, but many of these names I have never heard of, and I suspect you, too, have never heard of some of them. Are any of these National Geographic super-people familiar to you? Ashoka, Gaozu, Hapshepsut, Trajan, Thutmose III? I have no doubt these people had importance in their time, but lasting impressions?
Others are familiar: Buddha, Socrates, Confucius, Cyrus the Great, Darius II, Tutankhamen (I remember this name only because of Steve Martin’s “King Tut” song…), Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar (he was the Roman ruler when Jesus was persecuted), and Constantine, along with others. How can you have a list of most influential people without including Moses or Abraham, of whom Jewish, Islam, and Christianity are footed? These two people alone have a powerful influence on at least three fourths of the world’s population today. And no Jesus…. “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life. And he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” Matt 3:36
Most influential people of ancient history without Jesus at the top of the list? Absurd; blasphemous! At least 14 epistles of the Bible’s New Testament were written by the Apostle Paul, who was transformed by the brilliant light of Jesus Himself on the road to Damascus, when Saul (Paul) was on his way to Jerusalem to exterminate all Christ-believers. You talk about influence and transformation, and some of the most powerful God-inspired writings! Yes, it was a travesty to leave Paul off the list, too! But Saul would not be Paul without Jesus of Nazareth. We who are believers would not be without Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ.
Certainly the editors of National Geographic know the indisputable worldwide influence of Jesus Christ back then in the ancient world, that continues to this day in so many people’s lives. Dare I say, Jesus has influenced the lives of atheists and agnostics, and humanists throughout history. So why would they not include Moses, Abraham, King David, Solomon, Paul, and Jesus? It is continued proof of a humanistic worldview that thinks of Jesus and Christianity as mythical, and all His followers as misled and misguided without assurance of the Truth in Jesus. “Yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.” 1 Cor 8:6
To be fair, Jesus was mentioned in this magazine, but only as a side note. Here it is, in its entirety:
“Christianity emerged in the far reaches of the Roman empire sometime around A.D. 26 or 27, when Jesus of Nazareth began His public ministry. Attracting large crowds throughout His native Galilee (in modern-day Israel), He preached a message of forgiveness, love, and renewal. He talked about fulfilling the Scriptures but stopped short of openly declaring Himself the ‘Messiah,’ the Savior of the Jewish nation prophesied in the Hebrew bible.
Jesus was arrested on charges of blasphemy and crucified around A.D. 30. The Bible tells that Jesus rose from the dead three days after His crucifixion. His followers called Him ‘the Christ,’ or ‘anointed one,’ and referred to themselves as Christians. They began to spread the Gospel, the ‘good tale,’ of His life and ministry.” National Geographic, August 2016, pg
Hey, I didn’t write that! There are so many things I want to say about those two short paragraphs but I think the bias is very obvious. And the “good tale”? Argh! Not only was the magazine in its entirety insulting to all believers, but it was equally insulting for them to think this side-note would appease us disciples of Jesus our Messiah! A double Argh!
Jesus not on the list… Our King of kings and Lord of all lords is humble and merciful, and He probably could care less about this omission. Assuredly, though, He does take notes and can revise those names who get entered into His Book of Life.
Here is one of the most obvious non-spiritual influences the life of Jesus, God manifested in the flesh, has had on people in His time that continues today: The calendar! Atheists, agnostics, unbelievers and believers recognize a distinction of history’s timeline, before Christ’s birth and His sacred birth, B.C. and A.D. History revisionists will argue that the break in the timeline is coincidental, but something powerful happened for the effectual rulers to decide to begin a new timeline, beginning with year one. The preceding years would count backwards from that beginning point. Before Christ and Anno Domini (Latin for “year of our Lord”). Powerful, ego-driven kings at any time could have made such a change based on their own birthdate, but an unexplainable inception occurred at this specific timeline of world history. Something very special and phenomenal happened at that time. Coincidence that the yearly timeline would change at the time of this manger-birthed baby? A King was born, One who is King of kings and Lord of all lords. The anticipated Messiah. It was known as the Julian Calendar back then and has since been revised as the Gregorian calendar we still use today.
Oh, yes, I know, there are those who claim the B.C. means Before Common (Era), and should be written as B.C.E. What was so “common” at that point to begin a radical change that occurred in their need to change their calendar? Is it then After Common Era, or A.C.E.? I have never seen that…. A.D. is still the most widely used for the years as they go by now. By the way, Before Common Era, or B.C.E. was first so-named not until 1881 by a Jewish authoress who conjectured that Before Christ wasn’t applicable because the Messiah (their Jewish Christ) has yet to arrive.
Back to the magazine…. I did pick it up and was tempted to buy it as it does make a great sermon topic. It wasn’t the $13.95 list price that dissuaded me, but the thought that their provocation was close to getting me to contribute to their humanistic worldview. No thanks. I already have my book that contains the most influential and powerful figures!
I welcome your comments, prayer requests, and please refer this site to others who may be seeking the truth in God. May the God of all grace stir your spirit, and I pray God’s blessings pour abundantly upon you. Amen.