Inspired by The Jesus Manifesto, Napoleon on Jesus
Who is Jesus to you? The answer to that question has defined men and changed the course of human history. It’s a serious deal.
Currently I’m listening to Jesus Manifesto, which is written by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola. As I’ve been listening, I’ve been finding myself having a desire to more and more get back to the simplicity of the magnificence of Christ. I want to know who He is to me. And it reminded me of this quote that I read (and love), so I thought I would share. The quote is Napoleon, the nation-conquering French Emporer, talking about Jesus, and who He is to him.
(Quoted from “The Book of Jesus, Edited by Calvin Miller)
“I know men; and I tell you that Jesus Christ is not a man. Superficial minds see a resemblance between Christ and the founders of Empires, and the gods of other religions. That resemblance does not exist. There is between Christianity and whatever other religions the distance of infinity…
Everything in Christ astonishes me. His spirit overawes me, and his will confounds me. Between him and whoever else in the world there is no possible term of comparison. He is truly a being by Himself. His ideas and his sentiments, the truth which he announces, his manner of convincing, are not explained either by human organisation or by the nature of things.
The nearer I approach, the more carefully I examine, everything is above me; everything remains grand,—of a grandeur which overpowers. His religion is a revelation from an intelligence which certainly is not that of man. There is there a profound orginality which has created a series of works and of maxims before unknown. Jesus borrowed nothing from our science. Once can absolutely find nowhere, but in him alone, the imitation or the example of his life.
…I search in vain in history to find the similar to Jesus Christ, or anything that can approach the Gospel. Neither history, nor humanity, nor the ages, nor nature, offer me anything with which I am able to compare it or to explain it. Here everything is extraordinary. The more I consider the gospel, the more I am assured that there is nothing there which is not beyond the march of events, and above the human mind.”
Photo Credit: National Art Gallery- Napolean Bonaparte by David Paul Ohmer
Missional Course Correction
“Too often churches have understood themselves to be taking God to a godless world rather than following God into a world in which God is already redemptively present.”
George W. Stroup as quoted by Leonard Sweet in Nudge.