Easter 2003: “The Uniqueness Of Jesus”
1.1. In our study today, seeing that it is Easter Sunday, 2003, we are going to set aside our regular study and take a topical look at the fact that there has never been anyone on the face of the earth like Jesus. Jesus was truly unique.
1.1.1. J. Hampton Keathley III has said, “His life is unparalleled in beauty, scope, character, and effect. No one ever spoke like Jesus Christ, did the things He did, or made the claims He made.”
1.1.2. Many people in recent history have tried to mythologize the Bible and its stories and teachings and make Jesus out to be just a good teacher on morality or just one of many prophets. These people would look at common threads of truth that various religions embrace. However, I would submit to you that doing this is to revise history and to be ignorant of what the Bible itself teaches. Four gospel writers wrote four unique accounts of the life of Jesus, and as historians their accounts do not contradict each other in any sense but rather compliment the truth brought out by each. Using the scripture as an accurate historical document, which I believe is the only fair treatment of it, we are going to consider in this study the uniqueness of Jesus in the world and in history.
1.1.3. I have found that when people think of God that often they are more apt to think of coming to God through Jesus as opposed to going through any of the other world’s religions, and this is because of the uniqueness of Jesus, the fact that in so many regards Jesus stands alone among the leaders of the worlds religions.
1.1.4. The fact that Jesus stands out so clearly from all of the other great spiritual leaders of history past gives support to the historical validity of the resurrection of Christ from the dead.
2. Jesus is unique because everything about His life involved the miraculous.
2.1. Being the eternal Son of God from all eternity, the Christmas story as told in the gospels by eye witnesses Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, tell us that Jesus was immaculately conceived (Mt. 1:18–25 ; Lk. 1:34-35). God was His father and unlike every other person who was ever born, Jesus was not conceived by sexual intercourse, but by the Holy Spirit.
2.2. Jesus healed everyone instantaneously and completely who came to Him for healing as He had the power over all sickness.
He healed blindness (John 9), paralysis (Mark 2), leprosy (Luke 17), and deafness (Mark 7). He even healed some who had never seen and never walked before.
2.3. Jesus cast demons out of everyone who came to Him to have demons cast out.
2.4. Jesus raised three people from the dead showing He had the power over death.
In the gospels we read of Jesus raising from the
dead Jairus’ daughter (Luke 8), Lazarus (John 11), and the son of a certain
widow of the city of
2.5. Jesus had the power over the forces of nature.
2.5.1. He walked on water.
2.5.2. He calmed the winds by His word.
2.5.3. He calmed the waves of the sea.
2.6. On different occasions, Jesus miraculously multiplied a few fish and loaves of bread in order to feed 4,000 (Mark 8) and then 5,000 people (Matt. 14) at once.
Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding in
2.8. He raised from the dead on the third day after His crucifixion (Luke 24), just as He said He would do (Matt. 17:23). Of all of the founders of the world’s religions, Budha, Confucius, etc., Jesus’ grave alone is an empty tomb.
3. He was unique because of the things that He said, for no man ever spoke the way that Jesus spoke:
3.1. The claims of Jesus are unique:
3.1.1. Jesus claimed pre-existence as God, that He is the “I am” of the Old Testament.
When arguing with the Pharisees one day, Jesus said, "Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.' The Jews said to Him, You are not yet fifty years old, and you have seen Abraham!' I tell you the truth,' Jesus answered, before Abraham was born, I am!'" (John 8:56-58).
3.1.2. Jesus claimed to be the only unique Son of God, and to thus have a unique relationship with God.
In Luke 22:70 when asked directly by Pontius Pilate whether or not He was the Son of God Jesus affirmed this to be true, “70 And they all said, “Are You the Son of God, then?” And He said to them, “ Yes, I am .””
3.1.3. Jesus claimed to be Yahweh of the Old Testament.
“Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:8-9).
3.1.4. Jesus claimed equality with God
“I and the Father are one,” Jesus said. “Again the Jews picked up stones to stone Him, but Jesus said to them, I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?' We are not stoning you for any of these,' replied the Jews, but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God," (John 10:30-33).
3.1.5. Jesus claimed that all throughout the Old Testament scriptures that they spoke of Him
3.1.6. Jesus claimed His words were spirit and life.
John 6:63, “63 “ It is the Spirit who gives life ; the flesh profits nothing ; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”
3.1.7. Jesus claimed that heaven and earth would pass away but He would never pass away.
Matthew 24:35, “35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
3.1.8. Jesus claimed sinlessness for Himself and that He had always done the things that the Father wanted Him to do.
John 8:29, “29 “And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone , for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.””
3.1.9. Jesus claimed that He was the only way for men and women to get to the Father.
John 14:6, “6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way , and the truth , and the life ; no one comes to the Father but through Me.””
3.1.10.Jesus claimed that He was the source of truth.
John 14:6—I am “…the truth.”
3.1.11.Jesus claimed to be able to forgive men of their sins, something that only God can do.
(Matthew 9:2 ; Mark 2:5 ; Luke 5:20 ; etc., etc.)
3.1.12.Jesus claimed to have the authority over life and death.
"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies" (John 11:25).
3.1.13.Jesus claimed that He was the only way to eternal life.
"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies," (John 11:25).
3.1.14.Jesus claimed that He spoke only the words that the Father gave Him to speak, and only did the things that the Father would have Him do.
John 5:30, “30 “ I can do nothing on My own initiative . As I hear , I judge ; and My judgment is just , because I do not seek My own will , but the will of Him who sent Me.””
3.1.15.Jesus claimed to be the one who would judge all mankind.
John 5:22-23, "Moreover, the Father judges no one but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father.”
3.1.16.Jesus claimed that He would raise Himself from the dead.
In John 10:18 Jesus states, "I have authority to lay it (My life) down, and I have authority to take it up again."
In another place in the gospels Jesus said, “Tear this temple down (referring to His body) and in 3 days I will raise it up again.”
3.2. Jesus’ teaching style was unique:
3.2.1. He spoke with authority unlike any who had come before Him.
In John 7:46 the officers sent by the Pharisees to arrest Jesus told the Pharisees that they couldn’t do so because, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.”
In Matt. 7:28-29, the multitudes were astounded by how Jesus spoke with authority unlike any of their other religious leaders, “28 When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; 29 for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.
3.2.2. He gave the sign of Jonah to be a sign that proves the validity of His claims.
He would be in the belly of the earth for three days before rising again from the dead (Matt. 12).
3.2.3. Miraculously He knew about people and what was in them when first meeting them.
John 2:25, “…He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.”
4. What the Bible claims concerning Jesus is unique:
4.1.1. The scripture refers to Jesus as the pre-existent “word of God,” who is God and who created all things, and who then became flesh and dwelt in His incarnation among us.
John 1:1-15, “1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 6 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. 9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ ”
4.2. In Hebrews chapter 1 teaches us that “Jesus” in these last days has become God’s final and full revelation of Himself to man, and thus no further revelation of God is needed.
Hebrews 1:1-10, “1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. 5 For to which of the angels did He ever say, “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”? And again, “I will be a Father to Him And He shall be a Son to Me”? 6 And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “And let all the angels of God worship Him.” 7 And of the angels He says, “Who makes His angels winds, And His ministers a flame of fire.” 8 But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom. 9 “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above Your companions.” 10 And, “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of Your hands;”
4.3. All of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found in Jesus Christ.
Colossians 2:3, “3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
4.4. He is the creator of all that exists.
4.5. He as the Lamb of God is the One who is worthy of worship of all creation for all of eternity.
Revelation 5:13, “13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.””
5. Jesus has uniquely inspired others:
5.1. He has inspired more painters, song writers, poets, authors, and speech writers than any other person of history past.
5.2. More books have been written about Jesus than any other person in history past.
5.3. Since its initial printing, the Bible has been the book that has been the best-seller every year.
5.4. J. Hampton Keathley III at his web site has the following quote, “In his excellent book, What If Jesus had Never Been Born?, Kennedy give an overview of some of the positive contributions Christianity has made throughout the centuries…Here are a few highlights:
· Hospitals, which essentially began during the Middle Ages.
· Universities, which also began during the Middle Ages. In addition, most of the world’s greatest universities were started by Christians for Christian purposes.
· Literacy and education for the masses.
· Capitalism and free enterprise.
· Representative government, particularly as it has been seen in the American experiment.
· The separation of political powers.
· Civil liberties.
· The abolition of slavery, both in antiquity and in more modern times.
· Modern science.
The discovery of the New World by
· The elevation of women.
· Benevolence and charity; the good Samaritan ethic.
· Higher standards of justice.
· The elevation of the common man.
· The condemnation of adultery, homosexuality, and other sexual perversions. This has helped to preserve the human race, and it has spared many from heartache.
· High regard for human life.
· The civilizing of many barbarian and primitive cultures.
· The codifying and setting to writing of many of the world’s languages.
· Greater development of art and music. The inspiration for the greatest works of art.
· The countless changed lives transformed from liabilities into assets to society because of the gospel.
· The eternal salvation of countless souls!”
6. Uniquely, Jesus fulfilled prophesies concerning Himself.
6.1. Over 300 Old Testament prophesies written over several hundred years were fulfilled in Jesus’ first coming to the earth. It is an established fact even by liberal scholars that the Old Testament canon was completed by 450 B.C, and in the scriptures there is prophesy after prophesy that refer to the Messiah, both His first coming to the earth as well as His second coming.
6.2. Pastor Chuck Smith has written a book called “Answers For Today” where he has written about what he calls the “compound probability” of Jesus fulfilling the various prophesies of the Old Testament, “For over a thousand years, holy, godly men wrote down the inspirations that God sent to their hearts, telling of One whom God would send to be the Savior of the world. They listed His birthplace, the circumstances of His birth, and events of His life. They even predicted how He would suffer and the way He would die. Finally, they wrote of His resurrection.
Examining the records of these holy men of God, we find over 300 stipulations concerning the Messiah and what He would accomplish in His birth, life, death, and resurrection. It is fair to ask about the possibility of one person fulfilling all of the requirements by just “being in the right place at the right time.” There is a way to compute the chance factor of this occurring.
The scientific “Law of Compound Probabilities” allows us to accurately calculate the chance of any prophesied event taking place. Each stipulation added to the prediction lessens the chance of the event’s occurrence, because the possibility of several details coinciding is more remote than the possibility of one event occurring alone. When 300 details are considered, the chance factor becomes astronomical. Let’s look at the Law of Compound Probability by starting with just eight of the biblical prophecies pertaining to the Messiah and calculating the possibility of one man fulfilling all eight of those requirements.
For instance, Micah 5:2 said Christ would be born in
the city of
Then Malachi 3:1 said there would be a forerunner
who would go before Christ to prepare His way.
How many men have had a forerunner prepare the hearts of the people to
receive them? Though I can’t think of
any, let’s say one in 1,000. Zechariah
9:9 said Christ would make His triumphant entry into
Then Zechariah 11:13 added that the thirty pieces of silver would be used to buy a potters field. What are the chances of that coincidence? Let’s say one in 100,000, though I don’t know of any others in history. Isaiah 53:7 says that, although He was innocent, He would make no defense. How many innocent men refuse to answer in their own defense when brought before a court? An innocent man falsely accused wants everyone to know about his innocence—that’s a natural reaction. Still conservative, we’ll say only one man in 10,000 would be silent in the face of false charges. Finally, Psalm 22 said that both His hands and feet would be pierced. On the average, how many could you find with both hands and feet pierced? We’ll say one in 10,000.
Multiplying these chance factors according to the Law of Compound Probability, we establish how many men we would have to look at before we found one who met all eight stipulations. The number of men would be 10 to the twenty-eighth power, or 10 followed by 28 zeroes. And ours were just conservative estimates! (We can subtract the total estimated population factor of 10 to the eleventh power, but that still makes the chance factor one in 10 to the seventeenth power.)
If you had that many silver dollars, you could cover the entire state
7. I will now leave you with the following rendition of a quote that originally came from an essay by Dr James Allan Francis,
“Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself...
While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While He was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth - His coat. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress.
I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.”
Go to the end of this document and see the table of 65 prophesies of Christ which He fulfilled.
8.1. If Jesus can be unique in all of these many ways, then He must be the divine Son of God from all eternity, the third person of the Trinity, and worthy all of our trust, love, commitment, and worship. And He must also be the risen and exalted Lord who is sitting at the right hand of God in heaven, having as the Lamb of God that is without spot or blemish died upon the cross of Calvary as full payment for our debt of sins… Let us come before Him in worship and adoration this morning as we surrender our lives, our hopes, our plans, and our future to Him and His will for us.
Old Testament Prophecies Concerning Christ Which He Fulfilled:
1. As the Son of God. Ps 2:7.
a. Fulfilled. Lu 1:32,35.
2. As the seed of the woman. Ge 3:15.
a. Fulfilled. Ga 4:4.
3. As the seed of Abraham. Ge 17:7; 22:18.
a. Fulfilled. Ga 3:16.
4. As the seed of Isaac. Ge 21:12.
a. Fulfilled. Heb 11:17-19.
5. As the seed of David. Ps 132:11; Jer 23:5.
a. Fulfilled. Ac 13:23; Ro 1:3.
6. His coming at a set time. Ge 49:10; Da 9:24,25.
a. Fulfilled. Lu 2:1.
7. His being born a virgin. Isa 7:14.
a. Fulfilled. Mt 1:22,23; Lu 2:7.
8. His being called Immanuel. Isa 7:14.
a. Fulfilled. Mt 1:22,23.
9. His being born in Bethlehem of Judea. Mic 5:2.
a. Fulfilled. Mt 2:1; Lu 2:4-6.
10. Great persons coming to adore him. Ps 72:10.
a. Fulfilled. Mt 2:1-11.
11. The slaying of the children of
a. Fulfilled. Mt 2:16-18.
12. His being called out of
a. Fulfilled. Mt 2:15.
13. His being preceded by John the Baptist. Isa 40:3; Mal 3:1.
a. Fulfilled. Mt 3:1,3; Lu 1:17.
14. His being anointed with the Spirit. Ps 45:7; Isa 11:2; 61:1.
a. Fulfilled. Mt 3:16; Joh 3:34; Ac 10:38.
15. His being a Prophet like to Moses. De 18:15-18.
a. Fulfilled. Ac 3:20-22.
16. His being a Priest after the order of Melchizedek. Ps 110:4.
a. Fulfilled. Heb 5:5,6.
17. His entering on his public ministry. Isa 61:1,2.
a. Fulfilled. Lu 4:16-21,43.
18. His ministry commencing in
a. Fulfilled. Mt 4:12-16,23.
19. His entering publicly into
a. Fulfilled. Mt 21:1-5.
20. His coming into the temple. Hag 2:7,9; Mal 3:1.
a. Fulfilled. Mt 21:12; Lu 2:27-32; Joh 2:13-16.
21. His poverty. Isa 53:2.
a. Fulfilled. Mr 6:3; Lu 9:58.
22. His meekness and want of ostentatious. Isa 42:2.
a. Fulfilled. Mt 12:15,16,19.
23. His tenderness and compassion. Isa 40:11; 42:3.
a. Fulfilled. Mt 12:15,20; Heb 4:15.
24. His being without guile. Isa 53:9.
a. Fulfilled. 1Pe 2:22.
25. His zeal. Ps 69:9.
a. Fulfilled. Joh 2:17.
26. His preaching by parables. Ps 78:2.
a. Fulfilled. Mt 13:34,35.
27. His working miracles. Isa 35:5,6.
a. Fulfilled. Mt 11:4-6; Joh 11:47.
28. His bearing reproach. Ps 22:6; 69:7,9,20.
a. Fulfilled. Ro 15:3.
29. His being rejected by his brethren. Ps 69:8; Isa 63:3.
a. Fulfilled. Joh 1:11; 7:3.
30. His being a stone of stumbling to the Jews. Isa 8:14.
a. Fulfilled. Ro 9:32; 1Pe 2:8.
31. His being hated by the Jews. Ps 69:4; Isa 49:7.
a. Fulfilled. Joh 15:24,25.
32. His being rejected by the Jewish rulers. Ps 118:22.
a. Fulfilled. Mt 21:42; Joh 7:48.
33. That the Jews and Gentiles should combine against Him. Ps 2:1,2.
a. Fulfilled. Lu 23:12; Ac 4:27.
34. His being betrayed by a friend. Ps 41:9; 55:12-14.
a. Fulfilled. Joh 13:18,21.
35. His disciples forsaking him. Zec 13:7.
a. Fulfilled. Mt 26:31,56.
36. His being sold for thirty pieces silver. Zec 11:12.
a. Fulfilled. Mt 26:15.
37. His price being given for the potter’s field. Zec 11:13.
a. Fulfilled. Mt 27:7.
38. The intensity of his sufferings. Ps 22:14,15.
a. Fulfilled. Lu 22:42,44.
39. His sufferings being for others. Isa 53:4-6,12; Da 9:26.
a. Fulfilled. Mt 20:28.
40. His patience and silence under suffering. Isa 53:7.
a. Fulfilled. Mt 26:63; 27:12-14.
41. His being smitten on the cheek. Mic 5:1.
a. Fulfilled. Mt 27:30.
42. His visage being marred. Isa 52:14; 53:3.
a. Fulfilled. Joh 19:5.
43. His being spit on and scourged. Isa 50:6.
a. Fulfilled. Mr 14:65; Joh 19:1.
44. His hands and feet being nailed to the cross. Ps 22:16.
a. Fulfilled. Joh 19:18; 20:25.
45. His being forsaken by God. Ps 22:1.
a. Fulfilled. Mt 27:46.
46. His being mocked. Ps 22:7,8.
a. Fulfilled. Mt 27:39-44.
47. Gall and vinegar being given him to drink. Ps 69:21.
a. Fulfilled. Mt 27:34.
48. His garments being parted, and lots cast for his vesture. Ps 22:18.
a. Fulfilled. Mt 27:35.
49. His being numbered with the transgressors. Isa 53:12.
a. Fulfilled. Mr 15:28.
50. His intercession for His murderers. Isa 53:12.
a. Fulfilled. Lu 23:34.
51. His Death. Isa 53:12.
a. Fulfilled. Mt 27:50.
52. That a bone of him should not be broken. Ex 12:46; Ps 34:20.
a. Fulfilled. Joh 19:33,36.
53. His being pierced. Zec 12:10.
a. Fulfilled. Joh 19:34,37.
54. His being buried with the rich. I
a. Fulfilled. Mt 27:57-60.
55. His flesh not seeing corruption. Ps 16:10.
a. Fulfilled. Ac 2:31.
56. His resurrection. Ps 16:10; Isa 26:19.
a. Fulfilled. Lu 24:6,31,34.
57. His ascension. Ps 68:18.
a. Fulfilled. Lu 24:51; Ac 1:9.
58. His sitting on the right hand of God. Ps 110:1.
a. Fulfilled. Heb 1:3.
59. His exercising the priestly office in heaven. Zec 6:13.
a. Fulfilled. Ro 8:34.
60. His being the chief corner-stone of the Church. Isa 28:16.
a. Fulfilled. 1Pe 2:6,7.
61. His being King in
a. Fulfilled. Lu 1:32; Joh 18:33-37.
62. The conversion of the Gentiles to him. Isa 11:10; 42:1.
a. Fulfilled. Mt 1:17,21; Joh 10:16; Ac 10:45,47.
63. His righteous government. Ps 45:6,7.
a. Fulfilled. Joh 5:30; Re 19:11.
64. His universal dominion. Ps 72:8; Da 7:14.
a. Fulfilled. Php 2:9,11.
65. The perpetuity of his kingdom. Isa 9:7; Da 7:14.
a. Fulfilled. Lu 1:32,33.