Jesus Christ is easily the most important figure in the history of mankind. No matter how one may regard Him, he will eventually have to concede this point. Jesus’ life and death and the teachings attributed to Him have influenced the course of human history more than any other man who has ever lived—more than Alexander, any of the Caesars, Charlemagne, Mohammed, Napoleon, Washington, Marx, Freud or Ghandi. More people’s lives are influenced by His doctrines; more books are written concerning Him; more speeches (sermons) are made about Him than all other historical figures combined.
Jesus was the world’s greatest Prophet and Teacher. He was God, yet He took on Himself the nature of mankind. He has been the religious inspiration for the whole of North and South America as well as Europe for almost two thousand years. His religion, Christianity, has dominated and molded the destinies of virtually the entire world culturally, socially, politically, academically, technologically, economically and militarily.
Therefore, we can hardly undertake a more important task than to inquire into what Jesus really stood for. What did He teach? This task goes far beyond the scope of this series, which will delve only into His most basic teachings, as found in the Sermon on the Mount, regarding the nature of those who will be in His Kingdom. Even these basic characteristics present what some have called an impossible standard to attain; there is no doubt they are extremely high. Though they may be impossible for a carnal man to reach, with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27). He can enable us to meet and live these admirable attributes.