One Solitary Life

28 December 2023

1.8 MINS

Two thousand years since his birth, Jesus remains the central figure of history. No one has changed the world as much as this one solitary life.

The following is an excerpt from Kurt Mahlburg and Warwick Marsh’s latest book, Jesus: The Centre of It All. Buy the book here.

The Central Figure of History

During His three short decades on earth, Jesus declared, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12). Jesus’ words—and His call to believers to reflect His light in this world—have echoed through the ages.

Today, Jesus remains the central figure of history. He is the founder of the world’s largest religion, with a third of the planet identifying as His followers, and dramatic church growth continuing in Asia, Africa and South America. Jesus is the main character of the world’s bestselling book, the Bible, which has some 7.5 billion copies in circulation. The Bible is also the most translated book ever: portions of the Bible are now available in almost half of the world’s 6,500 languages, making it accessible to 90% of the world’s population. Jesus Christ is the subject of more artwork, literature and music than any other individual who ever lived.

One Solitary Life

Jesus’ unfading influence on our world was perhaps best summarised by Dr James Allan Francis in the poem One Solitary Life:

He was born in an obscure village
The child of a peasant woman
He grew up in another obscure village
Where he worked in a carpenter shop
Until he was thirty when public opinion turned against him
He never wrote a book
He never held an office
He never went to college
He never visited a big city
He never travelled more than two hundred miles
From the place where he was born
He did none of the things
Usually associated with greatness
He had no credentials but himself
He was only thirty-three
His friends ran away
One of them denied him
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 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 Jesus is the central figure of the human race
And the leader of mankind’s progress
All the armies that have ever marched
All the navies that have ever sailed
All the parliaments that have ever sat
All the kings that ever reigned put together
Have not affected the life of mankind on earth
As powerfully as that one solitary life

Buy Jesus: The Centre of It All here.



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