UNIQUENESS OF CHRIST- AN AMAZING STORY OF JESUS CHRIST
(Tuesday, April 21, 2020)
The truth about Christ is based primarily on the New Testament documents which have been shown elsewhere to be authentic. The New Testament record, especially the Gospels, is one of the most reliable documents from the ancient world. From these documents we learn that numerous facets of Christ are absolutely unique. Christians believe that Jesus is the unique Son of God in human flesh. However, some unbelievers, who may or may not believe Jesus existed, do not believe that Jesus was necessarily a wise or a particularly good man. Others, such as Muslims, think that Jesus was a prophet, along with other prophets. Hinduism depicts Christ as one among many great gurus. Many others hold Christ as a good human being and a great moral example. Jesus went to the territory near the town of Caesarea Philippi, where he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” “Some say John the Baptist,” they answered. “Others say Elijah, while others say Jeremiah or some other prophet.” “What about you?” he asked them. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Mathew 16: 13-19; Mark 8: 27-29; Luke 9: 18-20; John 7: 25-31)
In another instance we find similar kind of situation…When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “If you had been here, Lord, my brother would not have died! But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask him for.” “Your brother will rise to life,” Jesus told her. “I know,” she replied, “that he will rise to life on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will live, even though they die; and those who live and believe in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord!” she answered. “I do believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.” (John 11: 20-27)
The Old Testament, which even the most ardent critic acknowledges was in existence centuries before Christ, predicted the where (Micah 5:2), the when (Daniel 9:26), and the how (Isaiah 7:14) of Christ’s entry into the world. He would be born of a woman (Genesis 3:15) from the line of Adam’s son Seth (Genesis 4:26), through Noah’s son Shem (Genesis 9:26–27), and Abraham (Genesis 12:3; 15:5). He would come through the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10) and would be the son of David (2 Samuel 7:12f). The Old Testament predicted that Christ would die for our sins (Psalm 22; Isaiah 53; Daniel 9:26; Zechariah 12:10) and would rise from the dead (Psalms 2:7; 16:10).
All of these supernatural prophecies were uniquely fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Jesus lived a miracle-filled and supernaturally empowered existence from his conception to his ascension. Centuries before his birth he was foretold by supernatural prophecy. Unique in Conception: Christ was not only supernaturally anticipated; he was also miraculously conceived. While announcing his virgin conception, Matthew (1:22–23) points to the prophecy of Isaiah (7:14). Luke records this miraculous inception of human life (Luke 1:26f); Paul alludes to it in Galatians 4:4. Of all human conceptions, Jesus’ stands as unique and miraculous. Unique in Life: From his very first miracle in Cana of Galilee (John 2:11), Jesus’ ministry was marked by its miracles (John 3:2; Acts 2:22). These were not healings of delusional illnesses, nor were they explainable on natural grounds. They were unique in that they were immediate, always successful, had no known re lapses, and healed illnesses that were incurable by medicine, such as persons born blind (John 9). Jesus even raised several people from the dead, including Lazarus whose body was already to the point of rotting (John 11:39). Unique in Death: Events surrounding Christ’s death were miraculous. This included the darkness from noon to 3 p.m. (Mark 15:33) and the earthquake that opened the tombs and rent the temple veil (Matthew 27:51-54). The manner in which he suffered the excruciating torture of crucifixion. The attitude he maintained toward his mockers and executioners was miraculous, saying, ‘Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing’ (Luke 23:34). The way in which he actually died. As Jesus said, ‘I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord’ (John 10:18). At the very moment of his departure, he was not overcome by death. Rather, he voluntarily dismissed his spirit. ‘Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit’ (John 19:30). Unique in the Resurrection: The crowning miracle of Jesus’ earthly mission was the resurrection. It was not only predicted in the Old Testament (Psalms 2, 16), but Jesus himself predicted it from the very beginning of his ministry: He said, ‘ ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.’ … But the temple he had spoken of was his body’ (John 2:19, 21; Matthew 12:40–42; 17:9). Jesus demonstrated the reality of his resurrection in twelve appearances over forty days to more than 500 people. Unique in the Ascension: Just like his entrance into this world, Jesus’ departure was also miraculous. After commissioning his disciples, ‘he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them’ (Acts 1:10). Contrary to the view of some, this was not a ‘parable’ but a literal bodily ascension into heaven from which he will return in the same literal body to reign in this world (Acts 1:11; Revelation 1:7, 19–20). The great Christian creeds clearly emphasize the miraculous bodily ascension of Christ. Unique in Sinlessness: Some of Jesus’ enemies brought false accusations against him, but the verdict of Pilate at his trial has been the verdict of history: ‘I find no basis for a charge against this man’ (Luke 23:4). A soldier at the cross agreed saying, ‘Surely this was a righteous man’ (Luke 23:47), and the thief on the cross next to Jesus said, ‘This man has done nothing wrong’ (Luke 23:41). For a description of what those closest to Jesus thought of his character, Hebrews says that he was tempted as a man ‘yet without sinning’ (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus himself once challenged his accusers, ‘Which of you convicts me of sin?’ (John 8:46), but no one was able to find him guilty of anything. This being the case, the impeccable character of Christ gives a double testimony to the truth of his claim. Jesus’ sinlessness was unique.
I. JESUS WAS NOT BORN BY CHANCE LIKE OTHER HUMAN BEINGS…. BUT HE CHOSE TO BE BORN … CHOSE HIS MOTHER, TOO…. VIRGIN MOTHER
- The Qur’an consists of 114 Surahs (“Chapters”) and the nineteenth chapter of the Qur’an is “Surat Maryam”. Qur’an 19:20–21:She said, “How can I have a son, when no man has touched me, and I was never unchaste?”. He said, “Thus said your Lord, `It is easy for Me, and We will make him (Jesus) a sign for humanity, and a mercy from Us.
- Luke 1: 28-38:The angel came to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.” She was deeply troubled by his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary; God has been gracious to you. Look! You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God. Mary said to the angel, “I am a virgin. How, then, can this be?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High God will overshadow you. For this reason, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Remember your relative Elizabeth. It is said that she cannot have children, but she is now six months pregnant, even though she is very old. For there is nothing that God cannot do. “I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary; “may your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
- Like 2: 48-50 His parents were astonished when they saw him, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been terribly worried trying to find you. ”He answered them, “Why did you have to look for me? Didn’t you know that I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand his answer. Although his parents never told him about his birth, but he knew from childhood that who’s his Father and corrected his mother’s statement about “Your Father and I” stating that his Father is God not Joseph (the husband of Mary). This incident was happened when Jesus was 12 years old.
II. JESUS KNEW THE PURPOSE OF HIS COMING TO THE EARTH— HIS BIRTH, DEATH AND RESURRECTION
- Qur’an 19:30–33: In defence of his mother, Jesus said: “I am indeed a servant of God. He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet; And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live; (He hath made me) kind to my mother, and not overbearing or unblest; So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)!”
- Mathew 16: 20-28; 17: 22-23; 20: 17-19; Mark 8: 30-38; 9: 1, 30-32; 10: 32-34; Luke 9: 21-27, 43b-45; 18: 31-34; John 3: 14-21; 12: 27-36 Then Jesus ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah and all together came in Galilee. From that time on Jesus began to say plainly to his disciples, “I must go to Jerusalem and suffer much and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law. They will condemn him to death and then hand him over to the Gentiles, who will make fun of him, whip him, and crucify him; but three days later he will be raised to life.” Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “God forbid it, Lord!” he said. “That must never happen to you!” Jesus turned around and said to Peter, “Get away from me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my way, because these thoughts of yours don’t come from God, but from human nature.” Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you want to come with me, you must forget yourself, carry your cross, and follow me. For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for my sake, you will find it. Will you gain anything if you win the whole world but lose your life? Of course not! There is nothing you can give to regain your life. For the Son of Man is about to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will reward each one according to his deeds. I assure you that there are some here who will not die until they have seen the Son of Man come as King.” Jesus had spoken about his suffering, death and resurrection to his disciples for three times- (i) after Peter’s declaration about Jesus as Messiah, (ii) when Jesus and his disciples were on the way to Galilee, and (iii) when Jesus and his disciples were on the way to Jerusalem. But the disciples did not understand any of these things; the meaning of the words was hidden from them, and they did not know what Jesus was talking about.
- Luke 4: 16-21 Then Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath he went as usual to the synagogue. He stood up to read the Scriptures and was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it is written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has chosen me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed and announce that the time has come when the Lord will save his people.” Jesus rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. All the people in the synagogue had their eyes fixed on him, as he said to them, “This passage of scripture has come true today, as you heard it being read.”
III. JESUS CLAIMED HIMSELF TO BE GOD & KING OF ISRAEL
- John 8:53-58 Our father Abraham died; you do not claim to be greater than Abraham, do you? And the prophets also died. Who do you think you are?” Jesus answered, “If I were to honor myself, that honor would be worth nothing. The one who honors me is my Father—the very one you say is your God. You have never known him, but I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know him, and I obey his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see the time of my coming; he saw it and was glad.” They said to him, “You are not even fifty years old—and you have seen Abraham?” “I am telling you the truth,” Jesus replied. “Before Abraham was born, ‘I Am’.” After Jesus spoke such a word, what reaction do we see? “The Jews again took up stones that they might stone Him. Jesus answered them, I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of these works are you stoning Me? The Jews answered Him, We are not stoning You for a good work, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a man, are making Yourself God” (John 10:33). The Jews understood very well that Jesus’ words meant that He claimed to be God. After hearing these words they wanted to stone Him to death. A claim was made by Jesus, and an accusation was charged by the Jews, both of which concerned His divinity.
- John 5: 17-18 Jesus answered them, “My Father is always working, and I too must work.” This saying made the Jewish authorities all the more determined to kill him; not only had he broken the Sabbath law, but he had said that God was his own Father and, in this way, had made himself equal with God.
- In John 10:30 Jesus said, “The Father and I are one.” Moreover, in John 14: 9 Jesus answered, “For a long time I have been with you all; yet you do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. Why, then, do you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
- At the last judgment, the hour when His release or crucifixion was to be deliberated, He was examined as to who He was. What was His answer? He said that the Son of Man would be seen sitting on the right hand of the Majesty on high, descending on the clouds in glory (Matthew 26: 64). Even then He claimed to be God. As a result, He was crucified on the cross.
- John 1: 1-5 In the beginning the Word already existed; the Word was with God, and the Word was God. From the very beginning the Word was with God. Through him God made all things; not one thing in all creation was made without him. The Word was the source of life, and this life brought light to people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.
- Revelation 1: 8; 21: 6-7; 22: 12- 13 “Listen!” says Jesus. “I am coming soon! I will bring my rewards with me, to give to each one according to what he has done.I am the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
- Isaiah 44:6 The Lord, who rules and protects Israel, the Lord Almighty, has this to say: “I am the first, the last, the only God; there is no other god but me.
- Isaiah 48:12 The Lord says, “Listen to me, Israel, the people I have called! I am God, the first, the last, the only God!
IV. JESUS HEALED PEOPLE AND PERFORMED MIRACLES
- The Wedding in Cana (John 2: 1-12)
- Jesus has Pity for the People and Heals Many People (Mathew 4: 23-25; 9: 35-38; 15: 29-31; Luke 6: 17-19)
- Jesus Heals a Man (Mathew 8: 1-4; Mark 1: 40-45; Luke 5: 12-16)
- Jesus Heals a Roman Officer’s Servant (Mathew 8: 5-13, Luke 7: 1-10)
- Jesus Heals an Official’s Son (John 4: 43-54)
- The Healing at the Pool (John 5: 1-18)
- Jesus Heals Many People (Mathew 8: 14-17; Mark 1: 29-34; Luke 4: 38-41)
- Jesus Heals the Sick in Gennesaret (Mathew 14: 34-36; Mark 6: 53-56)
- Jesus Heals a Crippled Woman on the Sabbath (Luke 13: 10-17)
- Jesus Heals a Sick Man (Luke 14: 1-6)
- Jesus Heals Ten Men (Luke 17: 11-19)
- Jesus Heals a Paralysed Man (Mathew 9: 1-8; Mark 2: 1-12; Luke 5: 17-26)
- The Man with a Paralysed Hand (Mathew 12: 9-14; Mark 3: 1-6; Luke 6: 6-11)
- Jesus Heals a Dumb Man (Mathew 9: 32- 34)
- Jesus Heals a Deaf-Mute (Mark 7: 31-37)
- Jesus Heals Two Blind Men (Mathew 9: 27-31)
- Jesus Heals Two Blind Men (Mathew 20: 29-34; Mark 10: 46-52, Luke 18: 35-43)
- Jesus Heals a Dumb and Blind Man (Mathew 12: 22-32; Mark 3: 20-30; Luke 11: 14-23)
- Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind (John 9: 1-41)
- Jesus Heals a Man with Demons (Mathew 8: 28-34; Mark 5: 1-20; Luke 8: 26-39)
- Jesus Heals a Boy with an Evil Spirit (Mark 9: 17-29; Mathew 17: 14-21; Luke 9: 37-43a)
- A Woman’s Faith on Jesus Drive the Demon out of her Daughter and Jesus Heals a Man with an Evil Spirit (Mark 1: 21-28; Mark 7: 24-30; Luke 4: 31-37)
- The Return of the Evil Spirit (Mathew 12: 43-45; Luke 11: 24-26)
- Jesus Feeds Five Thousand Men (Mathew 14: 13-21; Mark 6: 30-44; Luke 9: 10-17; John 6: 1-14)
- Jesus Feeds Four Thousand Men (Mathew 15: 32-39; Mark 8: 1-10)
- Jesus Calms a Storm (Mathew 8: 23-27; Mark 4: 35-41; Luke 8: 22-25)
- Jesus Walks on the Water (Mathew 14: 22-33; Mark 6: 45-52; John 6: 15-21)
- The Official’s Daughter and the Woman Who Touched Jesus‘ Cloak (Mathew 9: 18-26; Mark 5: 21-43; Luke 8: 40-56)
- Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son (Luke 7: 11-17)
- The Death of Lazarus and Brought to Life (John 11: 1-57, 12: 9-11)
- The Transfiguration (Mathew 17: 1-13; Mark 9: 2-13; Luke 9: 28-36)
V. JESUS CONDEMNED ALL OTHER RELIGIOUS LEADERS / FOUNDERS, GODS & GODDESS OF THE WORLD
- John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.
- John 8:24 That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. And you will die in your sins if you do not believe that ‘I Am Who I Am’.”
- John 14:6 Jesus answered him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me.
- John 10:9 I am the gate. Those who come in by me will be saved; they will come in and go out and find pasture.
- John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not have life, but will remain under God’s punishment.
- John 6:35 “I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “Those who come to me will never be hungry; those who believe in me will never be thirsty.
- John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will live, even though they die;
- Acts 4:12 Salvation is to be found through him alone; in all the world there is no one else whom God has given who can save us.”
- 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one who brings God and human beings together, the man Christ Jesus.
- Romans 10:9 If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from death, you will be saved.
- John 20:28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
Isaiah 45:5-12 “I am the Lord; there is no other god. I will give you the strength you need, although you do not know me. I do this so that everyone from one end of the world to the other may know that I am the Lord and that there is no other god. I create both light and darkness; I bring both blessing and disaster. I, the Lord, do all these things. I will send victory from the sky like rain; the earth will open to receive it and will blossom with freedom and justice. I, the Lord, will make this happen.” Does a clay pot dare argue with its maker, a pot that is like all the others? Does the clay ask the potter what he is doing? Does the pot complain that its maker has no skill? Do we dare say to our parents, “Why did you make me like this?” The Lord, the holy God of Israel, the one who shapes the future, says: “You have no right to question me about my children or to tell me what I ought to do! I am the one who made the earth and created human beings to live there. By my power I stretched out the heavens; I control the sun, the moon, and the stars.