In 1926, Dr. James Allan Francis penned these words –
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
Dr James Allan Francis © 1926.
In Mark 1:40-45 Mark describes the lonely places Jesus resorted to due to the popularity he was experiencing. The leprous man, healed by the touch of the Master, disobeyed the strong warning Jesus had issued.
Isn’t it strange that one commanded not to spread the good news, defiantly disobeyed and those of us commanded to spread the news keep our lips sealed?
May God help us to use our individual lives to reflect something of that Solitary life of Jesus Christ. We have a message to get out. The gospel story revealing God’s mercy to us as Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures needs to be communicated.
I conclude this post with the concluding Scripture we encouraged each other with in our Discipling group this evening in Oshawa.
“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)