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Is Anyone Thinking About Jesus Today?


Niki Behrikis Shanahan


America’s #1 Hero in 2001 was Jesus Christ, according to The Harris Poll.  A nationwide cross-section of 1,022 adults were asked to name people they thought of as heroes, without reviewing a list or having any names suggested to them.  The person mentioned most often was none other than Jesus Christ.  The reasons most often given for naming people as heroes were “doing what’s right regardless of personal consequences,” “doing more than what other people expected,” and “not giving up until goals are accomplished.” 

“Staying level-headed in a crisis” was another reason given.  The first example that I thought of where Jesus stayed level-headed is the story of when Jesus and the disciples were in the ship and Jesus fell asleep.  A storm arose and the disciples were frightened and they said to Jesus, don’t you care that we will die.  Jesus said, “oh ye of little faith,” and He rebuked the wind and the sea and calmed the storm. (paraphrased from Mark 4:35:41). (
www.harrisinteractive.com, August 15, 2001)

Jesus Ranks As America’s #1 Hero

The Harris Poll taken in February 2003 of 2,201 U.S. adults found that 80% of the people polled believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  In fact, the poll found that 26% of non-Christians surveyed believe in the resurrection of Jesus.
www.harrisinteractive.com, February 26, 2003)

Jewish people think about Jesus, too.  There’s an organization called “Jews for Jesus.”  These are Jewish people who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  The movement started in the late 60’s.  In the 70’s branch offices were established all over the United States, and by 1995 their website was launched.  Jews for Jesus is one of the most extensive evangelistic outreaches to Jewish people in the world today.  Using contemporary themes and issues, Jews for Jesus presents the message that Jesus is the Messiah to the Jewish population in urban areas.

Recently a man named Sean Pinkerton was thinking about Jesus when he created a stuffed doll in the image of Jesus.  He began handing them out to both children and adults who he felt would benefit from the comfort of “Huggy Jesus.”  The doll is becoming a collectors item, as each doll is numbered and comes with a personalized Certificate of Authenticity.  Huggy Jesus is non-denominational and may be enjoyed by all.  I would have to agree that I think Jesus is non-denominational, too. 

There are Jesus Beanies, too.  Some people are offended by the Jesus toys.  They think it is disrespectful.  I don’t have a problem with it as long as it is done in good taste.  Let’s face it, in this day and age it seems like a good way to inspire children to learn about God at an early age.  The Jesus Beanies were developed and distributed with the hope of creating a toy that will have greater meaning in a young child’s life.  Each Beanie comes with a tag which contains two verses.  John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  The other verse is John 6:35 and Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life.  He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”  They are available for $8.99 through their website at www.jesusbeanie.com.  They were to be introduced at the Congress 2003 Show in Boston in Booth 911!  (PRWeb, January 28, 2003)

In 1996, a boy named Zachary drew a picture of Jesus on a poster and wrote “thankful for Jesus” for a kindergarten class Thanksgiving assignment.  His school in Medford, New Jersey, took it down from a hallway display.  A year later, he chose his favorite Bible story from his beginner’s Bible to read out loud in class, but school officials wouldn’t let him read it.  “They all made it feel like religion was a bad thing,” Zachary told Fox News.  A new Bush administration policy that has made it possible for students to express their religious convictions is facing challenges from activists who say the new rule violates the Constitution.  (Fox News, June 8, 2003) For more information on this story, go to the following Fox News link:

A youth group from Holland, Michigan, started the “What Would Jesus Do,” (WWJD) movement.  The founders of the movement started with a basic presupposition – if each person would ask the question – What Would Jesus Do? with each decision they made, the world would be changed for the better one question at a time.  Their website is at http://wwjd.com.  Some religious leaders have taken up the environmental issue and asked “What would Jesus drive?”


George Foreman, who just received his induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, left the ring in 1977 when he underwent a religious experience.  That experience took him from the ring to the pulpit.  He continues to preach as an ordained minister at his Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in Houston, Texas.  (Houston Chronicle, Houston, Texas, Foreman Leads Class of 2003 At Boxing Hall Of Fame by John Kekis, AP Sports Writer, June 8, 2003)


Baseball’s Salmon is hooked on Jesus Christ.  “As a Christian man, we’re called to be warriors for Christ. Once I get on the field, I’m probably more determined than anybody because I’m going to battle with Christ over my shoulder,” said right fielder, Tim Salmon.  Salmon, who is signed with the Anaheim Angels through the 2005 season, has not determined how much longer he would like to keep playing.  He has a wife and four children.  “It’s starting to get harder being away,” he said. “I don’t want to be a baseball dad that comes home one day and all his kids are grown up.”  (Baseball’s Salmon Hooked On Jesus Christ by Tom Magell, June 3, 2003,

They have a National Jesus Day, too.  This year it was June 7, 2003, according to the website http://www.jesusday.com.  Jesus Day is a spin-off from March for Jesus, which began in England in the 1980s.  The concept of Jesus Day was developed by Tom Pelton, who was the President of March for Jesus USA from 1991-2001.   Some of the governors proclaimed June 10, 2000 as “Jesus Day.”  One of them was former Texas Governor George W. Bush. 
(www.snopes.com, 2000)


What else can I say except that I think Jesus made a lasting impression.  After all, who’s going to remember us in 2,000 years?


Niki Behrikis Shanahan is the author of “There Is Eternal Life For Animals,” A Book Based On Bible Scripture, Pete Publishing, www.eternalanimals.com Available at amazon.com.  Article copyright 2003 Niki Behrikis Shanahan.   All rights reserved.  Not to be used without author's explicit written authorization.


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