I’ve been perusing the lists of the Most Admired Men and Women in my home country that are just coming out now for 2013 as well as those for previous years. I would love to know what criteria people use to choose them. Interestingly, Billy Graham is one of the few non-politicians listed. “Graham has appeared in the top 10 list far more often than any other man, making his 57th appearance this year,” according to Christianity Today. This man’s life of integrity, courage, faith and simplicity has been a shining example to several generations. (My dad attended one of his first meetings back in LA before Graham was famous, and my family attended another in the mid-60s.)
Wondering if any of these lists include historical figures, I did find someone’s list of their Top 10 Admired Women throughout history. The earliest of these dates back to the first century, Boudica, “a queen of the Iceni people of Norfolk who lead an uprising of the tribes against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire.”
What surprises me is that none of these lists include Mary, the mother of Jesus. Maybe it’s just too obvious. Maybe it’s just taken for granted that she occupies that place so they don’t think to include her. This was obviously the opinion of one woman in a crowd where Jesus was teaching who just couldn’t help herself and blurted out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you!”
But what a surprising answer He gave:
“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” (Luke 11:27-28)
So…if I listen and read what the Bible teaches and then obey it, I make God’s “Most Blessed Person” list, sharing the honor with Billy Graham and many others who have been obedient to God. I hope this includes you, too.
Isn’t that much better than making the list of some fickle human for any given year?