Shakespeare And Jesus

Neal Pollard

On April 23, 1564, William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-on-Avon, England.  While we do not know all the details of his life, it is clear that he is one of the most famous figures of history.  There are 38 plays and 152 sonnets attributed to him that survive, but not much of his personal life is known.  It is known that he married Anne Hathaway when he was 18, and she was already pregnant with their first child.  His son, Hamnet, died at age 11. He had two other daughters.  He died at the age of 52.  His contemporary, the poet Ben Johnson, said, “He was not of an age, but for all time.”

Jesus’ birth was a millennium and a half before Shakespeare’s.  We have some glimpses into His personal life through the inspired gospel writers.  We read an account of His lowly birth, His circumcision and first trip to the temple, His trip to the temple at age twelve, and the last three years of His life.  He did not marry.  The only writing we know that He did was on the ground, and its content is unknown (John 8:6,8).  He died a young man in His 30s, and that was by execution.  He was poor (2 Cor. 8:9).  So far as Scripture tells, He never traveled–during His public ministry–more than a total of 500 miles. Yet, Johnson’s word more aptly describe Jesus than any other person to ever live.

Jesus is not of an age, but for all time because as the Son of God He is deity and, as such, timeless (John 1:1).  Jesus is not of an age, but for all time because His teaching is timeless and relevant to all people of all places and times (Mat. 24:35).  Jesus is not of an age, but for all time because what He offers all humanity in history needs (1 John 2:2).

Whatever great contributions men continue to make in this world, the best one can hope to do is finish second to Christ.  He, more than all, influenced, changed, and improved this sinful world.  His words and will must be placed above all else!

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