History’s Greatest Success

How does one measure success? Alexander the Great had enormous success if you condone war, bloodshed and death. Jesus Christ is called the prince of peace and by any standards is history’s greatest success. His one failure was a young man of great promise named Judas who betrayed him.

Yet he met every goal he set out to do;

overcame every threat to his mission;

founded a great world-wide movement;

gave his life as an atonement for human sin;

healed the sick and performed other great wonders;

conquered the grave and death through his resurrection;

made startling predictions that proved to true;

while millions await his promised return.

Consider also:

 His Teachings: Dr. Karl Menninger, founder of the famous psychiatric hospital, once said, “If you were to take the sum total of all the best ideas of mental health and given them to a great poet to express, you would have something like the Sermon on the Mount.”

 His Claims. He is celebrated around the world every December as the prince of peace, yet he made claims that are preposterous—the ranting of a madman if he is not God and very God. He said wild things such as, “I am this world’s light. I am the way. I am the truth. I am the life.“Before Abraham was I am.” John the Baptist called him, “the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Even the centurion who executed him had to glorify God, admitting, “Surely this was a righteous man.” For those who trust and follow Him Jesus is both relevant but present in their their daily life, promising, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

His Global Vision. His parish was not just Galilee or Judea, but the world, He testified at his trial. I have come into the world to witness to the truth. John 18:37. Remarkably, while still an unknown, he predicted “This gospel will be proclaimed in all the world…as a testimony to every nation.”  There is no nation where his gospel has not been proclaimed. Afghanistan has resisted Christianity more than any other land, yet even there his word has been proclaimed.

His Longevity. Despite great opposition from his own people and history’s greatest empire, Jesus’ prevailed. In a few centuries He displaced forever the pagan gods of Rome. While Buddhism and Hinduism predate Christianity, His movement predates Islam by 600 years For two millennia He has seen world empires and nations rise and fall.

His Vitality: While Christianity barely holds its own in North America and is fading in Europe, this movement is alive, well and expanding rapidly in Africa, Asia and South America, faster even than Islam.

What was the secret of his amazing success? Read our next post for the surprising answer.

2 thoughts on “History’s Greatest Success

  1. Success (and so, failure) are completely subjective if we leave it to someone else to define whether or not we are a success. However, Jesus both self-defined and had his mission in this world defined for him. It can be stated simply as “to seek and save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10) or in the prophecy that Jesus quoted to open his ministry: “He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 20:18,19 quoting from Isaiah 61:1-2). His very name, “Jesus” means God is my Salvation. God is the one who set these prophecies in place and Jesus’ mission was to do what he was sent to do.

    Too often, as you point out, we let others tell our story, to define our lives, to say whether or not we are successful. It should be God Himself who should determine whether or not we are “successful”.


  2. Thanks for your comment Ed. I replied before this. but lost it navigating around. You put “success” in quotes, possibly because it’s not a word used by Bible translators, preachers or rank and file believers.Fruitful is a more biblical and comfortable term. Yet in a world exploding with urbanization, agrarian terms aren’t that much in vogue.

    I looked up the etymology of success: “result, outcome,” from Latin successus “an advance, a coming upon; a good result, happy outcome; that which comes after–accomplishment of desired end” or meeting your goal. Since Jesus met all his goals perfectly, we can say he was a glowing success.

    Further: God best define success, true, but so do others. Sta Paul and Luke saw a connection between rapid church growth (certainly a success) and how the church impacted public opinion. “all the people respected them and every day the Lord added to their number those who were finding salvation. (Acts 2: 49..

    Early church got an A+. in positive impact on outside world. What marks does modern church get? .


Comments are closed.