Time to continue the countdown, if you haven’t read finalists 10-6, read the previous post below.
5. David / 4. Moses – I feel as though our top 10-6 contenders could all be crying out at this point ‘I thought you said this list was based on devotion to the Lord, lasting influence and HOLINESS, James! How are both Moses and David ranked ahead of us?’ (I can almost hear Peter screaming ‘You dropped me to nine but two murderers made it into the top five. Are you nuts?’) All I can say in response is you’ve got to give props to those who Jesus gives props too. (At this point John the Baptist could reasonably be expected to pop up and shout ‘But you just said in my section…’ and I would have to move on quickly to avoid anyone pointing out a contradiction in my rankings).
God chose to have the Christ become a part of David’s lineage and Jesus constantly pointed back to Moses and his law when he taught. Both Moses and David had seasons of their lives when they openly rebelled against God but David’s was considerably worse which is why Moses gets the edge here (though I went back and forth on this a fair bit).
David is looked upon as one of the greatest leaders in Israel’s history and his military victories led to the establishment of the Golden Age for the kingdom of Israel. He holds a prominent part in messianic prophecy and he is the only man in scripture to be called a ‘man after God’s own heart’. His sin is remembered as a tragedy and deservedly so but just as significant is his repentance and understanding of his sin before God that still sets an example for how we are to respond our sin today.
Moses was chosen by God to receive the Ten Commandments and the rest of the Mosaic Law which would become the foundation for how the nation of Israel was to conduct itself and represent God. God worked some of the most amazing miracles through Moses such as the ten plagues upon Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea. His life was full of symbols of things to come and his place in the history of Israel is second possibly only to Abraham. Just in case you weren’t convinced that he should edge out David consider their respective film resumes Moses = Charlton Heston (The Ten Commandments) David = Richard Gere (King David) Seriously IMDb it; I had no idea…I rest my case.
3. Abraham – You know that you’re dealing with a significant dude when he is commonly referred to as the ‘Father of Faith’. That’s an amazing title and one that is justly deserved. In both the Old and New Testaments he is portrayed as ‘the prototype of all who experience God’s processes of seeking to reinstate man through redemption to God by faith without works’ (That’s right, I had to quote Jack Hayford just to emphasise his significance). Like almost all of our biblical heroes he faltered significantly, hiding behind his wife not once but twice and his lack of faith in sleeping with Hagar still has massive ramifications for the world today. Ultimately though Abraham is the symbol of the promise that God gave us that he would reconcile us all to himself if we have faith. Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac, the child of the promise, is so amazing and only grows more so as my own wife’s due date grows closer. Abraham’s descendants would become the people of God and it all flowed forth from his faith to follow a God he had never heard from before and lead his family to a new land. Pioneer doesn’t quite cover it.
2. Paul – Not bad for an apparently unattractive little kid with bad eyesight from the tribe of Benjamin. Consider the stats; he wrote at least 13 books in the New Testament, planted more churches than any other New Testament figure, had three of the most significant missionary journeys of all time, he was whipped, beaten and chased out of almost every town he went to and he preached everywhere from Rome to Jerusalem. He walked in authority and was so completely full of zeal that if the Lord hadn’t stepped in when he did he may have ended up destroying the church instead of building it up across the Mediterranean. But lets be honest, he uses long complex Greek sentences, wasn’t afraid to get in anyone’s grill and probably wasn’t the easiest guy to live with. I admire Paul’s devotion but in all honesty I’m not sure how it would be to travel with him everywhere. Maybe Luke was on to something when he ducked out of every fight that got started. Paul preached the gospel more fiercely than anyone and was bold, intelligent and brash. I love to be inspired by him and am possibly glad I don’t have to be confronted by him….except when I read his portions of scripture….which I love….*slaps forehead* 🙂
1. Jesus – I can almost feel a collective ‘Duh.’ here but honestly where else could I go? He died for us so that we could enter eternal life when we were deserving of nothing more than death. Really he’s a man that needs no introduction (although maybe these days he does) but just for fun lets imagine how Michael Buffer would introduce him at a boxing match….ahem… ‘And now, in the red corner, the Boy from Bethlehem, the Sinless Man, the Juggernaut of Jerusalem, the King of the Jews, your Lord, your Saviour, the one, the only, Jesus Christ the SON—OF—GOD!!!!!! (Oh yeah, lets get ready to rumble). I’m not going to belabour why he’s number one due to word limit and the fact that the God/man himself is central to my next post but as Legolas once said to Boromir of our main man Aragorn, ‘You owe him your allegiance.’
Think about it.