By David A. Sargent
Ilion Jones writes that “On the great biographer Ida M. Tarbell's 80th birthday, someone asked her to name the greatest persons she had ever met. She responded, ‘the greatest persons I have ever met are those nobody knows anything about.’”
“Once the New York Times was asked to help a group of club women decide on the twelve greatest women in the United States. After due consideration, the editors replied, ‘the twelve greatest women in the United States are women who have never been heard of outside of their own homes.’”
Jones concludes, “I ask you, who was greater, Thomas A. Edison or his mother? When he was a young lad his teacher sent him home with a note which said, ‘Your child is dumb. We can't do anything for him.’ Mrs. Edison wrote back, ‘You do not understand my boy. I will teach him myself.’ And she did, with results that are well known. *
For many, the greatest influences for good in their lives are from those who are not well-known to the masses but loved and appreciated deeply by those who have benefited from their wisdom and example.
The greatest person in your life – well-known or not – is that person who has taught you about Jesus, by his or her words and actions.
For many, that person has been a godly mother or grandmother.
A little boy forgot his lines in a Sunday school presentation. His mother was in the front row to prompt him. She gestured and formed the words silently with her lips, but it did not help. Her son's memory was blank. Finally, she leaned forward and whispered the cue, “I am the light of the world.” The child beamed and with great feeling and a loud clear voice said, “My mother is the light of the world!” **
Actually, Jesus is the Light of the world (John 8:12). But we should consider to be GREAT those – like godly mothers – who have enlightened us to that great truth.
Scripture records these words about John the Baptist: “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world” (John 1:6-9).
Therefore, John and all who are like him, are the greatest persons we could ever know, for they bear witness to the Light (Jesus) that we might develop our own faith and ultimately follow that Light all the way to heaven!
Jesus, the Light of the world, is the Way out of the darkness and doom of sin (John 14:6). Jesus will save those who place their faith and trust in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turn from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess His name before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). He will continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in the light of His word (1 John 1:7).
Great are those who lead us to follow Jesus, the Light of the World.
Won’t YOU follow Him, too?
- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled "Living Water." To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website: http://www.creekwoodcc.org
* Morning Glory, January 8, 1994, in illustrations from www.bible.org;
** Bits and Pieces, August, 1989