In 1973 George Foreman became heavyweight champion of the world with 38 victories, no defeats as a professional. He said of himself, “I felt like … I was the strongest man in the world.” Yet after an encounter with Jesus he left boxing to preach saying, ‘When I left boxing in 1977 … I couldn’t make a fist after I learned about Jesus Christ.’
The Jesus of history is clearly no ordinary man. Men and women from all walks, beliefs, persuasions and purposes have considered him and been affected by him even if they have not followed him. Of Jesus, Napoleon Bonaparte said, “I know men; and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. 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.”
Consider just how remarkable Jesus was and is in every respect. The power of his love continues to transform people from despair to hope in every corner of the globe today, and the revolutionary force of his teaching has civilised western culture for 2,000 years. We simply cannot imagine a culture where love, respect and sacrifice for neighbour were not thought to be core values; there would be no ANZAC spirit!
The Bible consistently and clearly declares who Jesus is, and this is exemplified in the Apostle Peter’s confession of him as ‘The Messiah, the Son of the living God’ (Matthew 16:16).