Sunday, August 25, 2013

Series Introduction: What Makes Jesus Unique?

Some of my deepest thinking is during the times I am prepping for the day. Sometimes I think the shower is the "think tank." The other day was one of those days, in thinking about the uniqueness of Jesus Christ.

As an evangelical minister/apologist, I was thinking of Jesus in line with His humanity. Many people, outside of the Christian faith like to see Jesus as merely a human being and nothing more. Others see Him as one who had special powers to heal, and sage words. But if we were to look at Jesus as merely a human being who spoke wise words and did great deeds, he would not be all that different than some of the other great human beings who carried with them similar virtues.

However Jesus was more than a virtuous human being. I have run into folks, professing a form of skepticism, who have claimed that they like the morals of Jesus, but they do not see the need to follow Jesus as their Savior.

What makes Jesus unique is not just His words about the Kingdom of God or man's fallen condition. What makes Jesus unique is not the fact of Him doing something miraculous (some attest magic) deed. No. What makes Jesus unique goes far beyond His works, short of His crucifixion and resurrection.  He also claimed to be God in human flesh.

Some would say that Jesus never claimed to be God or the Son of God. Oh really?

What should we do with His statements like, those who have "seen Him (Jesus) have seen the Father" (see John 14:9).  Jesus' other claims are many, and they vary.

For example, in John 8:58, He stated that He existed before Abraham.  In John 5, He stated that He was equal with the Father (vv. 17, 18).  In Mark's gospel, He claimed the ability to forgive sins (2:5-7); and this is something that the Bible teaches was something that only God alone could do (see Isaiah 43:25).

This posting is an introduction to the uniqueness of Jesus of Nazareth. In this posting, I have touched on briefly His claims to deity. Granted He did not come out and say, "Hey look everyone, I am God." He proved it by His words and backed it up with His actions of forgiving sin, and even raising Jairus' daughter and Lazarus.

In the next postings that follow in this series I am going address what makes Jesus unique to some of the other religious figures in history, i.e., Buddha, Moses, Mohammed, and others. In my think tank times I thought upon that fact that Buddha never claimed to be God. Moses as great of a man that he was, never claimed to be one with Yahweh.  Even Mohammed never identified himself as "Allah." Nor will we find a pagan religion like the one led by Zoroaster ever claiming to be Ahura Mazda.

No. What separates Christianity from the rest of the religions out there is not just the works of Jesus, but His claims to be divine and backing it up with His death and resurrection. No other religious leader did such a thing.

1 comment:

Keith Walker said...

Good stuff. I look forward to the rest of it. Thanks for the Isaiah 43:25 verse. I had not been familiar with that one in a context like this.