Tract 13a
The Most Amazing Man in History
- Supplement to Lesson 13

He was a real man who lived and walked and worked with real people. Historical records tell about His life and His death. There are more pages of original and duplicated vellums of ancient manuscripts about this man and his life and sayings than can be found in regard to any other man of ancient history. Collections of these manuscripts are to be found scattered throughout the major libraries and historical archives of the world. Scholars trained in this field, called New Testament studies, have spent lifetimes in careful analysis of these materials--and the Man that these records speak about.

The ages have come and gone and this Man stands out from among all others. There was a purity within His life that changed men who came in contact with Him. And it has changed others since then, as well. Men discovering Him have gladly lived and laid down their lives for Him--and this often by cruel deaths. But it has mattered not, because of that which He did within their lives. This is the secret of His influence--the happiness and power to live clean lives that He could grant to men and women.

This is the secret of what He can do for you. He changes men. He can do for you that which you cannot do for yourself. He can help you live a pure, self-controlled life, a happy, contented life.

Just now, take a few minutes to read what others have said about Him--the most amazing Man in all recorded time. They want to introduce you to the only Man in history who can radically lift you--and change you--for the better:

--Vance Ferrell

During the public ministry of Jesus Christ upon the earth, the following description of His person was sent by Publius Lentulus, President of Judea, to the Senate of Rome. It is from an ancient manuscript:

"There lives a man of singular character, whose name is Jesus Christ, in Judea. The barbarians esteem Him as a prophet, but His own followers adore Him as the immediate offspring of the Immortal God. He is endowed with such unparalleled virtue as to call the dead from their graves, and to heal every kind of disease with a word or touch. This Person is tall and elegantly shaped; His aspect is amiable and reverent; His hair flows into those beautiful shades which no united color can match, falling into graceful curves below His ears, agreeable couching upon His shoulders, and parting on His head like the head of a Nazarite. His forehead is smooth and large; His cheeks without either spot, save that of a lovely red; His nose is smooth and formed with exquisite symmetry; His beard is thick and of a color suitable to the hair of His head, reaching the middle like a fork. He rebukes with majesty commands with mildness, and invites with the most tender and persuasive language; His whole address, in deed or word being elegantly graceful and characteristic of so exalted a being. No man has ever seen Him laugh, but many have seen Him weep, and so persuasive are His tears that the multitude cannot withhold theirs from joining in sympathy with His. He is very temperate, modest and wise, and in short, whatever this phenomenon may turn out in the end, He seems at present from His excellent bearing and Divine perfection, in every way surpassing the children of men."

--The Sword and the Trowel.

 "Will Jesus ever be surpassed? Nineteen hundred years have passed, and his equal has not risen. This is not true of the world's other great ones. Every generation produces geniuses worthy to be compared with those who have gone before. It can be said of no one man, 'He stands alone; he has no rival; no equal; no superior.' But this is true of Jesus. Nineteen hundred years, instead of diminishing His greatness, have accentuated it." 

--Editor, The Los Angeles Times.

"The life of Christ, the holiest among the mighty and the mightiest among the holy, has lifted with its pierced hands empires off their hinges and turned the stream of centuries out of their channel and still governs the ages."

--Jean Paul Richter.

Henry Morgenthau--"The greatest personality in human history is Jesus. We shall never escape from war but by following His teaching."

Horace Bushnell--"His character forbids possible classification with men."

A Hindu Professor in S. India--"My study of modern history has shown me that there is a moral pivot, and that more and more the best life of the East is revolving round it. That pivot is Jesus Christ."

A Brahmo-Samajist--"There is no one else seriously bidding for the heart of the world except Jesus Christ. There is no one else in the field."

Benjamin Franklin--"Christ's system of morals and religion as He left them to us is the best the world has seen or is likely to see."

Ernest Renan--"He is the incomparable Man to whom the universal conscience has decreed the title of Son of God, and that with justice." (Renan was a French infidel, a philosopher and historian acknowledged to be the first man of letters of his day).

Daniel Webster--"I believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God. That which He wrought establish in my mind His personal authority and render it proper for me to believe what He asserts."

Professor Simpson, M.D., D.Sc., President of the Royal College of Physicians, said in his final address to the College:

"I do not know in what mood of pessimism I might have stood before you today had it not been that, ere the dew of youth had dried from off me, I made friends with the sinless Son of Man who is the well-Head of the stream that vitalizes all advancing civilization and who claims to be the First and the Last, and the Living One who was dead and is alive for evermore."


Josephus lived at the time of Christ and died after He did. A well-known historian of the First Century A.D., here is what Josephus wrote about Jesus the Christ:

"Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works--a teacher of such men as receive truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was (the) Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named after him, are not extinct at this day." 

--Josephus, Antiquities, Book xviii.

Socrates taught for forty years, Plato for fifty, Aristotle for forty, and Jesus for only three; yet those three years infinitely transcend in influence the combined one hundred and thirty years of teaching of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, three of the greatest men of all antiquity. Jesus painted no pictures; yet the paintings of Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci received their inspiration from Him. Jesus wrote no poetry; but Dante, Milton, and scores of the world's greatest poets were inspired by Him. Jesus composed no music; still Haydn, Handel, Beethoven, Bach, and Mendelssohn reached their highest perfection of melody in the hymns, symphonies, and oratorios written in His praise. Thus every sphere of human greatness has been incomparably enriched by the humble carpenter of Nazareth. But His unique contribution to the race of men is the salvation of the soul. Philosophy could not accomplish that--nor art--nor literature--nor music. Only Jesus Christ can break the power of sin; only He can speak "power into the strengthless soul, and life into the dead." The world admires Christ afar off. Some adopt Him as their example and try to pattern their lives after His. A few open the door of their hearts and invite Him in to be their Saviour.

Though Christ a thousand times in
Bethlehem be born,
If He's not born in thee,
thy soul is still forlorn.

--Bible In New York.

His birth was contrary to the laws of life.

His death was contrary to the laws of death.

He had no cornfields or fisheries but He could spread a table for five thousand and have bread and fish to spare. He walked on no beautiful carpets or velvet rugs, but He walked on the waters of the Sea of Galilee and they supported Him.

Three years He preached His Gospel. He wrote no book, built no church house, had no monetary backing. But after nineteen hundred years, He is the one central character of human history, the Pivot around which the events of the ages revolve, and the only Regenerator of the human race.

--Sunday School Times.

Tacitus, the Roman writer, has attested the existence of Jesus Christ, the reality of his personage, his public accusation and execution under the administration of Pontius Pilate, the temporary check this gave to the progress of His religion, its revival a short time after His death, and its progress over the land of Judaea and right to Rome itself.

--Dr. T. Chalmers.

It has been said that History is His story, and His story is History. Outside the Bible there are several secular writers who make mention of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Tacitus--in Book XV, Ch. 44--writing in A.D. 114, tells us that the founder of the Christian religion, Jesus Christ, was put to death by Pontius Pilate in the reign of the Roman Emperor, Tiberius.

Pliny the Younger wrote a letter to the Emperor Trajan on the subject of Christ and Christians (Book X--96).

Josephus, the Jewish historian, writing A.D. 90, has a short biographical note on Jesus Who is called Christ in his "Antiquities"--Book XVIII, Ch. III, Section 3.

The Babylonian Talmud makes mention of Jesus Christ.


"But neither by human aid, nor by the costly largesses by which he attempted to propitiate the gods, was the prince [Nero] able to remove from himself the infamy which had attached to him in the opinion of all, for having ordered the conflagration [of Rome]. To suppress this rumor, therefore, Nero caused others to be accused, on whom he inflicted exquisite torments, who were already hated by the people for their crimes, and were commonly called Christians. This name they received from Christ, their leader, who in the reign of Tiberius was put to death as a criminal, while Pontius Pilate was procurator. This destructive superstition, repressed for a while, again broke out and spread not only through Judea where it originated, but reached this city [Rome] also" (Annals, book 15, par. 44).

Suetonius, who also lived in the first century, refers to Christ when speaking about the Emperor Claudius: "He [Claudius] banished the Jews from Rome who were continually raising disturbances, Christ being their leader." Concerning the life of Nero, Suetonius writes: "Christians were punished, a sort of men of a new and magical religion" (The Lives of the Caesars, book 5, pars. 25, 16).

About AD 110 Pliny the Younger, who was the Roman proconsul in Bithynia, wrote to the Emperor Trajan telling him about interesting affairs in his provinces. He tells of the rapid growth of Christians and how they met to sing hymns composed to their leader, Christ. This account is found in book 10, letter 97, of his collected letters.

So we see that to these three well-known secular historians and to government officials of the first and early second centuries, Christ and the Christians were realities.

--These Times.

 Said Mohandas K. Gandhi, "I believe that Jesus belongs not solely to Christianity, but to the entire world!"


Said a dissolute, discouraged college youth who had come to the end of himself, "I'm not seeking answers anymore. I'm seeking Jesus Christ!"

"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart" (Jer. 29:13).

--Source Unknown.

"The three short years of the public ministry of Jesus have done more to soften and regenerate mankind than all the moralizing of all the moralists, and all the philosophizing of all the philosophers since the world began!"


High up on the cliffs overlooking a noble river, like the Orontes or the Rhine or the Hudson, you will see some great out jutting rock. From century to century the rock has remained the same, while the river beneath it has changed with ever-moment of its flow. So the stream of time and of history, ever changing, flows past the changeless Christ, the Rock of Ages.


 Thousands upon thousands who have followed Christ through all the pilgrimage of life are on record as saying what John Bunyan said in those beautiful and in comparable words: "I have loved to hear my Lord spoken of; and wherever I have seen the print of His shoe in the earth there I have coveted to set my foot too. His name has been to me as a civet-box yea, sweeter than all perfumes. - And His countenance I have more desired than they that have most desired the light of the sun."


He who is the Bread of Life began His ministry hungering. He who is the Water of Life ended His ministry thirsting. Christ hungered as man, and fed the hungry as God. He was weary, and yet He is our rest. He paid tribute, and yet He is the King. He was called a devil, and cast out devils.  He prayed, and yet He hears prayer. He wept, and He dries our tears. He was sold for thirty pieces of silver, and redeems the world. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and is the Good Shepherd. He died, and gave His life, and dying destroys death.

--The Christian

1. The world's Creator (John 1:1-3).
2. The world's Example (Matt. 16:24).
3. The world's Teacher (Matt 7:28, 29)
4. The world's Master (John 13:13).
5. The world's Saviour (Luke 19:10).
6. The world's Lord (Rom. 10:12).
7. The world's King (Rev. 11:15).
8. The world's Light (John 8:12).
9. The world's Life (John 14).
10. The world's Love (John 3:16).

--Source Unknown

Dr. Joseph Parker on one occasion referred to the Unitarian conception of Jesus Christ as a great example only, and then went on to say: "We have been to hear Paderewski play. It was wonderful superb, magnificent. Then we went home and looked at the piano. We would have sold it to the first man who would have been fool enough to buy it. This is the effect of your great examples upon us. I want not only a great example, but great Saviour, one who can deliver me from my weakness and my sins. To follow a good example in the future will no blot out the black record of the past; we need the blood of Christ's atoning sacrifice to accomplish that. To hear a Paderewski play will not make us like a Paderewski. Could a Paderewski incarnate himself within one, he could play like himself. So the Christian life is not Christ and I, but Christ in me. We need the Christ within to live the Christ without."

--Moody Monthly.

C. K. Lee, a native Christian leader of China, was in this country a few years ago. One Sunday he spoke in a modernistic church in California. At the conclusion of the message, a young college student propounded this question, "Why should we export Christianity to China when you have Confucianism in your country?" "There are three reasons," was the rejoinder. "First of all, Confucius was a teacher and Christ is a Saviour. China needs a Saviour more than she needs a teacher. In the second place, Confucius is dead and Christ is alive. China needs a living Saviour. In the third place, Confucius is some day going to stand before Christ to be judged by Him. China needs to know Christ as Saviour before she meets Him as Judge."

--Triumphs of Faith.

At a fork in the road, the missionary with his Mohammedan friends paused to consider which fork of the road to take. The missionary seized the opportunity - seeing a tomb alongside the road (there are often tombs of holy men along road sides in that country), he said, "Let us go to the tomb and ask the dead man the direction."

The Mohammedans looked at the missionary in amazement, "Why should we ask a dead man directions when we can go to yonder house with living people in it who can tell us where the road leads?"

"Exactly!" said the missionary. "That is why we can ask Jesus Christ the way of life . . . He is living . . . Mohammed is dead." 

--Donald Grey Barnhouse.

A Hindu once wrote: "It is an interesting thing that though there have been Mohammedans in India for a thousand years you never hear a Hindu say, 'I wish that you were more like Mohammed.' We have known Christianity a quarter of that time, but there is no educated Hindu who would not say to any Christian, "I wish that you were more like Christ."

--The Glory Christian.

 H. G. Wells said, "Christ is the most unique Person of history. No man can write a history of the human race without giving the foremost place to the penniless teacher of Nazareth."

Dr. Arnold Toynbee, famed historian, said, "As we stand and gaze with our eyes fixed upon the farther shore of history, a straightway fills the whole horizon. There stands the Saviour!"


Said Henry Drummond, "Ten minutes spent in Christ's presence, even two minutes if it be face to face and heart to heart, will make the whole life different."

Observing the boldness of Peter and John in the long ago, some "marvelled; and . . . took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus" (Acts 4:13).


 The Encyclopedia Britannica use 20,000 words to tell about Jesus, and never hints that He did not exist. This is more words than the Britannica allows for Aristotle, Alexander the Great, Cicero, Julius Caesar, or Napoleon Bonaparte. H. G. Wells blasphemed Jesus, yet he felt compelled to discuss Jesus on ten pages in his Outline of History and never questioned that a man named Jesus did live.


"Jesus" is a precious name to all believers because it always reminds us that He is the Saviour. It was the name given to Him by God when He came into this world. It teaches us the purpose of His incarnation. It is His human name reminding us that He who is God also became man. Peter made much of this name in the healing of the crippled beggar, and declared that there is no other name sufficient for our salvation.


A few years ago a group of distinguished historians amused themselves by writing a book called If, or History Rewritten. Among these historians were Van Loon, Maurois, Belloc, Chesterton, and Ludwig. Some of the "ifs" which they discussed were these: If Lee had not lost the Battle of Gettysburg; If the Moors in Spain had won; If the Dutch had kept New Amsterdam; If Louis XVI had an atom of firmness; If Booth had missed Lincoln; If Napoleon had escaped to America. The attempt to reconstruct the past on the ground of these hypotheses and to imagine what might have been was indeed an interesting intellectual enterprise. But there are no "ifs" in history.

The greatest fact of history is the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ; and therefore the greatest "if"--the greatest possible imagination--would be "If Christ had not come." Such an "if" is almost too staggering for our minds. It is like imagining the world without a sunrise, or the heavens without a sky. Try to think of your own life without Christ. "If I had not come . . . " (John 15:22).


Said Betrand Russell, famed philosopher and iconoclast, "In this strange and insecure world where no one knows whether he will be alive tomorrow, and where ancient states vanish like morning mists, it is not easy for those who, in youth, were accustomed to ancient solidities to believe that what they are now experiencing is a reality and not a transient nightmare. Very little remains of institutions and ways of life that when I was a child appeared as indestructible as granite!"

"Change and decay in all around (we) see," but Jesus Christ is "the same yesterday, and today, and for ever" (Heb. 13:8) Of Him the imperishable Word of God says, "Thou remainest" (Heb. 1:11).


In Christ now meet both East & West
In Him meet South and North,
All Christly souls are one in Him,
      Throughout the whole wide earth.

                               John Oxenham.

 He was born contrary to the laws of nature, lived in poverty, was reared in obscurity, and only once crossed the boundary of the land--in childhood. He had no wealth or influence, and had neither training nor education in the world's schools. His relatives were inconspicuous and uninfluential.

In infancy He startled a king; in boyhood He puzzled the learned doctors; in manhood He ruled the course of nature. He walked upon the billows and hushed the sea to sleep. He healed the multitudes without medicine and made no charge for His services. He never wrote a book, yet all the libraries of the country could not hold the books that have been written about Him. He never wrote a song, yet He has furnished the theme for more songs than all song writers together. He never founded a college yet all the schools together cannot boast of as many students as He has. He never practiced medicine, and yet He healed more broken hearts than the doctors have healed broken bodies.

He is the Star of astronomy, the Rock of geology, the Lion and the Lamb of zoology, the Harmoniser of all discords and the Healer of all diseases. Great men have come and gone, yet He lives on. Herod could not kill Him: Satan could not seduce Him: death could not destroy Him: the grave could not hold Him.

He was rich yet for our sake became poor. How poor? Ask Mary. Ask the wise men. He slept in another's manger: He cruised the lake in another's boat: He rode on another man's ass: He was buried in another man's tomb. He is the ever perfect One, The Chiefest among ten thousand. He is altogether lovely.

--Selected and slightly abridged.

Christ's Last Will and Testament--He left His purse to Judas; His body to Joseph of Arimathea; His mother to John; His clothes to the soldiers; His peace to His disciples; His supper to His followers; Himself as an example and as a servant; His Gospel to the world; His presence always with God's children!


"Pharisees, with what would ye reproach Jesus?"
"He eateth with publicans and sinners."
"And you, Caiaphas, what have you to say of Him?"
"He is a blasphemer, because He said, "Hereafter ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven."
"Pilate, what is your opinion?"
"I find no fault in this Man."
"And you, Judas, who have sold your Master for silver--have you some fearful charge to hurl against Him?"
"I have sinned, in that I have betrayed innocent Blood.
"And you, centurion and soldiers, who led Him to the Cross, what have you to say against Him?"
"Truly this was the Son of God."
"And you, demons?"
"He is the Son of God."
"John the Baptist, what think you of Christ?"
"Behold the Lamb of God."
"And you, John the Apostle?"
"He is the bright and morning Star."
"Peter, what say you of your Master?"
"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."
"And you, Thomas?"
"My Lord and my God."
"Paul, you have persecuted Him; what testify you against Him?"
"I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord."
"Angels of Heaven, what think ye of Jesus?"
"Unto you is born a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."
"And, Thou, Father in Heaven, who knowest all things?"
"This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
Dear reader, what think you of Christ?

--Elim Evangel.

Was it merely the Son of Joseph and Mary, who crossed the world's horizon nineteen hundred years ago? Was it merely human blood that was spilled at Calvary's hill for the redemption of sinners? What thinking man can keep from exclaiming: "My Lord and My God!"


Two infidels once sat in a railroad train discussing Christ's wonderful life. One of them said, "I think an interesting romance could be written about Him." The other replied, "And you are just the man to write it. Set forth the correct view of His life and character. Tear down the prevailing sentiment as to His divineness and paint Him as He was --a man among men." The suggestion was acted upon and the romance was written. The man who made the suggestion was Colonel Ingersoll; the author was General Lew Wallace; and the book was Ben Hur. In the process of constructing it he found himself facing the unaccountable Man. The more he studied His life and character the more profoundly he was convinced that He was more than a man among men; until at length, like the centurion under the cross, he was constrained to cry, "Verily, this was the Son of God!"

--D. J. Burrell.

A number of prominent literary men were assembled in a clubroom in London one day a number of years ago. The conversation veered to a discussion of some of the illustrious figures of the past, and one of the company suddenly asked: "Gentlemen, what would we do if Milton were to enter this room?"
"Ah," replied one of the circle, "we would give him such an ovation as might compensate for the tardy recognition accorded him by the men of his day."
"And if Shakespeare entered?" asked another.
"We would arise and crown him master of song," was the answer.
"And if Jesus Christ were to enter?" asked another.
"I think," said Charles Lamb amid an intense silence, "we would all fall on our faces."

--King's Business.

A father, reading his Sunday paper and wishing not to be disturbed by his little girl, cut up a map of the world, gave it to her, and told her to put it together. After awhile she returned with it and every piece was in its place. The father was very much surprised and said: "Why, how did you do it, darling? You don't know anything about geography." The little one replied, "There was a picture of Jesus on the other side, and I knew when I had Jesus in the right place, the whole world would be all right."

--Eight Bells, Haven of Rest.

I find the name of Jesus Christ written on the top of every page of human history.

--George Bancroft.

The life of Christ, the holiest of among the mighty and the mightiest among the holy, has lifted with its pierced hands empires off their hinges and turned the stream of centuries out of its channel, and still governs the ages.

--Jean Paul Richter.

Christ is the great central fact of the world's history. All lines of history converge upon Him. All the great purposes of God culminate in Him.

--Charles Spurgeon.

I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever were built, and all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life--the life of Christ.

--Phillips Brooks.

The cry down through the ages is for someone who can change man's heart and give him power to live right and to put away his sins. The guilt that conscience speaks of cannot be denied. Man was made by God to live morally right and he can never be happy until he does.

But only that power which made man can change him and restore to him the precious thought that he is as clean as a baby in the sight of heaven. Read the story for yourself--it is found in the Bible--in Matthew, Mark Luke and John and the other books. Jesus Christ lived and died in order to forgive your past sins and enable you by, His grace--instead of returning to them--to live in obedience to the will and laws of God.

Jesus Christ lived and died to enable you to obey the Ten Commandments. He alone can save you from sin and empower you to live in harmony with the rules and standards given in Holy Scripture.

Is this what you really want for your life?--A changed life in Christ; a happy, obedient life in Christ? Are you tired of trying and failing? Do you want a clean conscience and a pure life? I believe that you do. Let me explain for a moment how it can be yours.

Just now, wherever you may be, bow your head and tell Him that you give Him everything that you have and are. Surrender to Him your desires and your plans. Give Him all that is left of your life and ask Him to take it and use it--for the remainder of your years on earth. If necessary, find a quiet place alone where you can do this. Shut the door on the world. Take the time alone with Him to get the job done right. Don't leave until it's done.

You went in poor and worn-out. You will come out wealthy and with a purpose and peace you have not experienced in years. Now you have all Heaven on your side. ln the moment-by-moment strength of living in contact with Christ, you can face life and conquer it. For you are no longer trying to do it alone.

And then--equally important--for the remainder of your life you must dedicate time every day to God. Unless you read His inspired Word every day and pray to Him, you will return to your old ways and the shattered life of earlier years. And, amazingly, within a few days or weeks you will have forgotten your Best Friend entirely. And when will be the next time that you will decide to come back?

You dare not take that chance. Cling to Him every day. Start each morning with Him. Walk with Him all day long. You cannot have the peace and the power unless you spend time with Him every day. And tell others what you have found. And pray for them--everyone you know, everyone you meet, whether they know Him already or not. And resist temptation and resist sin. It will try to assert itself and come back. Don't be surprised at this. But have nothing to do with it. And be careful of the old worldly friends. Now is the time to choose real Christians for your close friends. But let Jesus be the closest of them all. The people we like to be with are the ones we become like. Choose the best. It will mean a lot in the coming years.

And then go to church. Find one that keeps all Ten of the Commandments--by faith in Jesus Christ. Over the years I have discovered that, better than most, the Seventh-day Adventist Church tries to maintain this balance of obedience to the Bible through the enabling grace of Jesus Christ.

God bless you--and write me as you have an opportunity. We have dozens of other tracts about Jesus and Bible beliefs that you will like. Just ask for "tracts about Jesus" when you write. I want to hear from you. I want to pray with you and for you. We're not out of the world yet and we need to work together for mutual strength and service for the Master. Stay close to Jesus every day. You will find that there is great strength in, by faith, keeping the eye fixed upon Him.

May God bless you every day.

Vance Ferrell, for Pilgrim's Rest

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