Throughout history great and distinguished men have been considered heroes in their society. Many have lived on even after death through stories and chronicles of their legendary deeds that they achieved in their lifetime. Among these men, there are a select few whose stories have stood the test of time; one of these valiant men is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ had a life unparalleled to the life of any ordinary man.
To begin, His birth was undoubtedly a miracle. An angel visited Christ??™s mother, Virgin Mary, informing her that she was pregnant with the child of God (King James Version Luke 1:26-31). Six months later, Christ was born in a manger in Bethlehem (Matthew 1:25-2:1). Following his birth, Christ was visited by three wise men, who gave ???the born king of the Jews??? gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:1-12). King Herod the Great, king of Israel in 5 BC, did not want people referring to Christ as ???the born king of the Jews,??? so he ordered for all of the babies in Israel, including infant Christ, to be killed (Bahr 25). Christ survived the royal-ordered massacre, and then, when he was around eight years old, his parents found him sitting in a Jewish temple, listening to the Jewish sermon of the religion and asking questions. When Mary and Joseph asked Jesus why he was in the temple, Jesus said unto them, ???Did you not know that I must be about My Father??™s business??? (Luke 2:49-50).
Most biblical scholars agree that this is the moment when Christ discovered he was the messiah and son of God. While not much is known regarding Christ??™s adolescent life, the Bible does give an important part of Jesus??™ adulthood. During Christ??™s early thirties, he traveled to all parts of Europe and Africa preaching, performing miracles, and giving sermons. During his travels, Christ decided he would get baptized in holy water by his cousin, Saint John the Baptist. Saint John was puzzled by this, because he thought it was not a necessity for Him to be baptized since he was believed to be the son of God. Yet Christ, wanting to be like the common man, was baptized and lost his original sin (Mark 1:10-11). For the next several years Christ traveled on spreading the word of God around until he reached one of the most important parts of his life, his last week on earth. On the Sunday of the last week of his life, Christ arrived in Jerusalem, humbly riding on a donkey (Brown 10).
The Tuesday of his final week, Judas Iscariot, formed a contract with the Romans to betray and kill Christ. That Thursday, Christ called all twelve of his apostles together for the last supper of His life. Early the next morning, Christ was arrested and sentenced to death by crucifixion (Brown 11).
Later that day, Jesus died on the cross, a martyr of his church (Brown 12). That Saturday, Jesus was buried in a rock tomb and a large stone was rolled over the top of it to seal it (Brown 11). The day after that, Sunday, Jesus disappeared from the tomb, having resurrected to the heavens (Brown 12). Many around the world consider Jesus Christ a hero because he dedicated his life to serving humanity without prejudice or recognition, sacrificing his life for the sins of his people. To evaluate Christ??™s worthiness of the title ???hero,??? a definition of the word hero will be given and his actions and character will be evaluated.Christ and other ???heroes??? should have to be worthy of that title.
There are many different opinions on what makes a true ???hero,??? however it is well known that a true hero is not only one who performs good deeds, but one who possesses a plethora of other positive traits. Two of the most important of those positive traits are humility and selflessness. To be humble heroes must perform acts of kindness without wanting recognition or boasting about their accomplishments, but this is no easy task. The quality of humility is always associated with being selfless, which is the act of having no concern for oneself especially regarding recognition of fame. This is a trait that most heroes lack because with fame comes a myriad of fortune and glamour, but a real hero puts fortune and glamour aside for his fellow man. Another important characteristic of a hero is his ability to inspire others to do good deeds, just as he would himself.
A hero cannot stay in one place forever or his impact will never be substantial; therefore, he must teach others how to stand for what is right. In this important skill, a hero can make a whole civilization prosper. A hero must do all of his good free of charge and not expect to be paid for any of it. This truly separates the heroes from the average man because the average man often expects to be paid for the deeds or jobs they complete, while heroes complete jobs and deeds without asking for money or items at all. Finally, only a true hero is capable of sacrificing for the betterment of others. This is by far the most important trait because the average man can swagger through life and accomplish their goals and dreams, but without sacrifice the average man cannot be great at all. The reason that sacrifice is so important to being a hero is because it shows true character of the hero and demonstrates that the hero will give up whatever is necessary in order to help someone in their great time of needMany of the great heroes and leaders of nations have been humble and selfless throughout their entire life, Jesus Christ is no exception. Christ not only dedicated his life to accomplishing many great deeds, he also performed them with a great amount of humility as well.
Christ said himself ???And I seek not my own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth,??? (John 8:50). This suggests that in all of Christ??™s teachings, he never wanted any remembrance or appreciation at all, for that was believed to be only for God. Many others believe heroes crave recognition for their deeds and accomplishments, but Christ always told his people not to praise him or tell others of his great deeds he executed. Another great example of Jesus??™ humility and selflessness came during the Last Supper when Christ started to ???poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples??™ feet,??? (John 13:5). Washing a guest??™s feet was typically a job of a low-ranking servant, but Christ purposely ignored his prominence and reputation to commit such a chivalrous act. When taking into consideration the dignity Christ possessed, this act of feet washing demonstrated how modest and humble Jesus was.
Christ practiced humility so well that others around him often praised him for it. The apostle Paul referenced his humility, saying: ???For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich??? (2 Corinthians 8:9). Christ was such a selfless figure, considering he could have had many riches and could have ruled many lands much like a king; yet, he decreased his social status and became poor in order to help his fellow man. Christ??™s humility and selflessness is recognized worldwide and taught at Christian Churches and Chapels on a regular basis. Not only did he decrease his social status, he was so humble that he taught his people how to better their civilization, as well as themselves.
Heroes in modern times often act in selfish ways by keeping their true actions hidden and a mystery, while true heroes choose to teach their positive practices, in hope that others will follow and benefit from their examples. To begin, ???Jesus??™ words have shaped the course of history and the hearts of men for more than two thousand years. They remain as relevant and powerful today as when He first spoke them??? (Quotable Jesus Back Cover). For example, in the bible, when a lawyer asked Mark the Evangelist what the greatest commandment that Jesus Christ taught his people was, Mark told the lawyer that Jesus said to ???love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.??? (Mark 12:31).
Christ believed that if humans learned how to treat one another with respect, then the world would be a better place; therefore he preached this feeling to his followers. To Christ, there is no greater law than to treat one another as one would themselves, which shows how important personal relationships were to Him. Furthermore, Christ preached often about equality and morals in order to help people with their relationships and social statuses. During the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew the Disciple passed on Jesus??™ wisdoms: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12). This is where the modern mantra ???treat others as you would want to be treated??? began and this teaching still lives on today, such as when an elder tells a child to follow this ???Golden Rule??? when mistreating another. Christ wanted us to think not from a selfish standpoint, but rather to think in the place of others and do what is best for them.
Christ??™s teachings and messages are so great and full of wisdom, that not only were they taught in His time, but also they are taught today in churches and communities worldwide. The people society calls ???heroes??? have their wisdom live on for centuries at the most, but Christ??™s teachings and rules are considered so important that they have lived on all the way to modern times. Not only has Christ taught us much about teaching and impacting society in a positive way, but he has also showed in his actions that sacrifice is a key element to making that impact on society last. Many ???heroes??? perform their deeds solely for the purpose of self, with little concern to others, however; a true hero achieves their accomplishments thinking of self last and sacrificing what they need to in order to better others lives.
Christ of all people was no stranger to this sacrifice. To begin, an excellent summary of Christ??™s selfless way of life was given by the Epistle of Paul to the Philippians??™ church. Paul told the Philippians that “Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation and took upon himself of a servant and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross??? (Philippians 2:5-8). Christ could have very well been a selfish god who thought of man as a mistake, yet he sacrificed his anger to see the good in mankind. With this sacrifice of anger Christ, became a servant for all of His people and served them without question.
Furthermore, a great example of Christ??™s sacrificial manners came in a prayer at the Mount of Olives soon before His death. Christ asked God, ???Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done??? (Luke 22:42). Christ had goals for His life; yet, His goals were also the goals of His father??™s in that they both wanted to help the human population prosper. Christ was willing to commit great sacrifice, in order to accomplish His father??™s goal as well. Lastly, He made the most immense and dignified sacrifice, just to ???save??? His people: the sacrifice of his own life. After being arrested and sentenced to death on the cross, Jesus died, thus accomplishing his ultimate goal: to save the people from their sins by dying for them.
An apostle named John explained that ???God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life [In Heaven]. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.??? (John 3:16-17). Heroes must not only positively impact their society, but they must also go above and beyond the ???call of duty??? by sacrificing all of their luxuries to better others. Christ not only went out of his way, but in fact, felt it was necessary to sacrifice himself to help His people, and subsequently cleanse all of the people who believe in his teachings of their sins.Jesus, as hard as it is to believe, was not viewed as positively as He is today.
He was a figure total social revolution in his time, challenging all the social ways of life. Christ met with lepers, visited women, and fought the purity laws of the time; all of which was looked poorly upon (Bahr 30). It was not until around 300 A.D. that Christianity started to become a prominent religion, when Armenia became the first officially Christian nation.
Christianity then spread until it was the prominent religion for all of Europe and most of Africa (Bahr 16-17). Christ??™s wisdom is now the wisdom of most of the world as Christianity, is now the world??™s largest religion with approximately 2,076,629,000 followers worldwide (Bahr 169).Jesus Christ was, without a doubt, a hero.
He not only matches the definition of a hero provided above, but he also matches the definitions of a hero as defined by great scholars and philosophers such as Carlyle, Plutarch, Plato, Bernstein, and Confucius (Dutson). Christ was a very humble man, arguably the most humble of all time. He performed miracles of all different varieties, and then did not want word to get out of his miraculous deeds to avoid being recognized and praised. Christ was also the greatest teacher of charity and good will.
If one counted all the instances that Christ taught a man how to be good throughout Christ??™s short life, the numbers would be staggering. Sacrifice was also an important part of Christ??™s character. When people refer to the man who ???shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness???, they are referring to Christ. Many followed the words of Christ in his lifetime due to the betterment he brought to their lives, and even today, over two billion people believe in Jesus Christ and proclaim him as their savior. That is precisely why Jesus is; not only a hero, but also one of the greatest heroes of all time.