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Greatest man in history
June 21, 2010
by Rev. Michael Nirva, St. James Lutheran Church, Howard Lake

“The men were amazed and asked, ‘What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him.’” (Matthew 8:27)

Who is the greatest man in history? The biographies of great men have always been, to some people, extremely interesting, instructive, and inspiring. It is not easy to leave your footprints on the sands of time, as more and more people cross those sands. We take off our hats to those who, under God’s blessing, and by their perservance, have blazed new trails in the arts and sciences, in statesmanship, and in the work of the church.

The greatest man in history is not one of our contemporaries, even though great men have arisen in our day who occupy a prominent place in the history of industry, literature, science, medicine, politics, and religion. The greatest man in history is not Edison or Marconi, he is not Gates or Pasteur, he is not Mendolssohn or Bach, he is not Shakespeare or Longfellow, he is not Washington or Lincoln, he is not Plato or Aristotle.

The greatest man in history – a man who is still making history – is the man of whom people once asked “what kind of man is this? Even the winds and waves obey Him.” Jesus Christ is the greatest man in history.

Though he never lifted a sword or led an army, Jesus is the king of the universe. He fed a multitude with a few loaves and fishes, though he never speeded up the wheels of industry. Jesus spoke as one having authority, and as a boy of 12 years. He astonished the teachers in the temple with His questions. He cured the sick, and restored sight to the blind, although he never studied medicine. Jesus stilled the waves, though He never studied science.

Jesus is the light of the world, though in earth’s darkest midday hour, He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

Jesus is life, though he died upon a cross. He brought immortality to light, and gives to His own victory over death and everlasting life to all who believe. He has defeated the devil, subdued him, conquered him.

And, to think that the greatest man in all history, who has done the most for mankind by His dying on the cross for the sins of the world, is so often unknown, or little known, so often the forgotten man.

If we sinners do not repent and believe in Jesus Christ as our savior and follow Him, we are the eternal losers. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and the Savior of the world, is the Man of the ages – the world’s greatest benefactor, without peer or superior, the hero of the centuries.

“Therefore, God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shoud bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)

Jesus Christ is the greatest man in history; everyone who believes in Him will receive the forgiveness of their sins, and the gift of eternal life in heaven.

May the Holy Spirit grant us a living faith in Jesus Christ. Amen