A Social Revolution
Jesus has launched the only great and lasting social changes the world has ever seen. This is both a categorical statement as well as justified. At the time of Jesus’ birth, the world was a place of great cruelty and horror. Slavery was a universal practice. Jesus changed these things.
He did not come with a social program alone. He came with a new ethic founded upon a new life that was His life within all who should follow Him. It was not an immediate change. In the church’s early years, the ministers of the good news were fortunate if they were given the opportunity to preach the gospel. The response of the gospel began to grow, and Christianity spread through the various regions. Jesus said this in Acts 1:8. They were to begin at Jerusalem, all Judea, and Samaria. Even to the uttermost part of the earth. This came true as the apostles and disciples of the Word were spread across the various countries and regions.
The greatest changers took place during the reigns of the emperors Constantine and Justinian. Cruel sports, such as those of the arena, were put in check because the Christians opposed such things. Laws were put in place to protect the slave. He was no longer branded. He could no longer be killed at the whim of his owner. Children were given legal rights that they previously did not have. Hospitals and orphanages came into existence. There were setbacks. The Middle Ages caused some to return to barbarism. Those who were Christian did non-Christian things. At the time of the recovery of the gospel during the Reformation period, the social consequence of Christianity was not lost. Zwingli instituted social reforms at Zurich, and Calvin creating jobs for thousands of refugees who thronged the streets of Geneva.
Begging was abolished, and the poorhouse came into existence. Food was distributed to those who needed it. Poor children were clothed. The register in which the rules were recorded regarding the care of beggars still exists.