by Robert Arvay, Contributing Writer
Whenever someone asks the question, what is the most significant event in history, they should be answered by being asked in return a simple question: what year are we in?
The standard calendar used by the world is the Gregorian calendar, which has the year, one, calculated to coincide with the birth of Jesus. Years which came before the birth of Jesus are denoted by the initials, B.C., or, Before Christ. 10 B.C. is the tenth year before Jesus was born.
Attempts have been made, and continue to be made, to replace the initials A.D. and B.C, with C.E. and B.C.E. The letters C.E. are taken to mean, Christian Era, or more sternly, Common Era.
These attempts, however, do not change anything. The calendar remains based in the year, one, and the reason for that is, that was the year which was calculated to be the year when Jesus was born. There is no avoiding that fact. (Some consider it unfair.)
The teachings of Jesus remain the most influential teachings in all of history. Even the apostles, steeped in the traditions of the Hebrew, Greek and Roman milieu, were astonished at His teachings. They were perplexed by them, and sometimes even hostile.
The Golden Rule is perhaps the most famous, and most revolutionary of Jesus’s teachings, along with the phrase, “turn the other cheek.” There are also many others that are embedded in modern law and ethics. For example, the concepts of mercy for wrongdoers, the requirement to forgive their trespasses, and to “let him without sin cast the first stone—“ these are but a few of the many, many influences on human thinking that have lifted the world from the practice of cruel and unusual punishment, to the practice of justice tempered with mercy, and the effort to rehabilitate those criminals who will repent.
If any one teaching of Jesus is central to His ministry, it may well be His concept of love, the love of God for all His children, and His command that we should love God, and love each other, even as much as we love ourselves.
The command to love even our enemies is utterly alien to most people, and is sometimes misunderstood to mean that we should stand aside while evildoers persecute the innocent.
Understanding the teachings of Jesus is not easy, nor is it meant to be. Such understanding requires much soul searching, much prayer and much practice. Those teachings transform souls.
Such understanding, however difficult, is possible. It is possible for the scholars of scripture, but it is equally possible for kings and shepherds alike.
Come. Let us adore Him.