WHO IS JESUS CHRIST?
1. What do the words "Jesus Christ" mean to you?
a. Today, the words "Jesus Christ" are most frequently used as swear words. People use them in order to vent their anger or frustration.
b. To some people, the words "Jesus Christ" are an embarrassment. To mention His name at a party or at work is a sure conversation-stopper. If you mention His name, people will accuse you of being a religious fanatic.
2. Why does bringing up the word "Jesus" make so many people uncomfortable?
a. You know if Jesus had been a bad man, or had been a mass murderer or a Don Juan, I could understand the negative reaction that some people have towards Him. However, Jesus was nothing of the kind. He was the most dynamic, attractive, and genuinely good human beings who has ever lived.
3. Jesus has made the biggest impact upon the world than any one else.
Historian Kenneth Scott Latourette said: “As the centuries pass, the evidence is accumulating that, measured by His effect on history, Jesus is the most influential life ever lived on this planet.”
Ernest Renan said: “Jesus was the greatest religious genius that ever lived. His beauty is eternal, and His reign shall never end. Jesus is in every respect unique, and nothing can be compared with him. All history is incomprehensible without Jesus Christ.”
Jesus has not only made the biggest impact upon the world than anyone else; He can make the biggest impact upon your life as well.
OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS, I WILL PRESENT SEVERAL POINTS OF THE LIFE OF JESUS.
I. FIRST, WHO IS JESUS?
ILLUSTRATION: (Choose either one of these illustrations)
One day a wealthy English family invited some friends over to spend some time at their beautiful estate. However, the happy gathering almost turned into a terrible tragedy on the first day. You see when the children went swimming, one of them got into deep water and was drowning.
But fortunately, the gardener heard the others screaming and plunged into the pool to rescue the helpless victim. That youngster was Winston Churchill. His parents, deeply grateful to the gardener, asked what they could do to reward him. He hesitated, then said, "I wish my son could go to college someday and become a doctor." "We'll pay his way," replied Churchill's parents.
Years later when Sir Winston was Prime Minister of England, he was stricken with pneumonia. Greatly concerned, the king summoned the best physician who could be found to the bedside of the ailing leader. That doctor was Sir Alexander Fleming, the developer of penicillin. He was also the son of that gardener who had saved Winston from drowning as a boy.
My friends, at one time, we ourselves were drowning in our sins. We were dying of a serious illness called sin. But on one glories day, Jesus rescued us from our sins.
ILLUSTRATION: (Choose either one of these illustrations)
In July of 1976, when, in a swift display of military precision, courage, and sheer daring, Israeli commandos rescued 102 Jewish hostages from Uganda, in Central East Africa.
You see, what had happened was their plane had been hijacked by Palestinian terrorist and flown to a safe haven protected by the madman, dictator Idi Amin. The hostages were probably good as dead if something could not be done to save them. Well, something was done.
To rescue the hostages, a raiding party from Israel was selected and honed to a strike force specially trained in air-assault operations. They were among the finest military men in the world, led by thirty-year-old Col. Jonathan Netan-yahu, who had moved to Israel from the United States when he was only two.
Deep in the desert at the isolated military base, they practiced the raid again and again, shaving the group rescue time down to fifty-five minutes.
Once the team landed in Uganda, the cargo plan's huge tail ramp dropped and out came a large, black Mercedes Benz limousine, closely followed by tow land rovers filled with Israeli commandos dressed in Palestinian uniforms. In the back of the limousine was a bulky Israeli officer dressed like Dictator Idi Amin.
The license plate on the limousine was identical to that of Amin's official car. As the party drove up to the terminal building, the Ugandan guards snapped to attention, allowing the Israeli commandos to get within a few yards of the building before the first shots were fired.
Bullets were soon raining on the airport like hail in a thunderstorm. Within ten to twenty minutes, the shooting was over. The commandos ordered the hostages to the planes that were waiting in take-off position, engines still running. As the hostages ran to the planes, great fireballs erupted in the distance as Israeli commandos blew up the eleven parked MIG jets that would have scrambled to intercept the escaping Israeli planes. As the hostages and commandos rushed onto the huge Hercules, the rear hatch slammed shut. Fifty-three minutes after the raid began, the planes began moving into position for takeoff. The hostages were saved.
The rescue, however, was not letter perfect. Three hostages lost their lives and one Israeli commando lost his life--the assault-force commander, Col. Jonathan Netan-yahu. A sniper in the control tower killed him with a bullet in the back. The Col. Gave his life to save others.
As great as this mission was, it pales in comparison to the greatest rescue in history--the saving of mankind by God. Mankind found itself lost in life, held hostage by evil, helpless and hopeless. Jesus risked Himself--even gave His life--to rescue mankind. His is the greatest of all acts.
2. If someone ever asks you, "Who Is Jesus Christ," tell them that Jesus is the Son of the living God who came to rescue mankind from their sins. Jesus is the Great Rescuer.
Paul tells us in (Gal. 1:4), that Jesus gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age…
II. SECOND, WHAT MAKES JESUS SO GREAT & SET APART FROM OTHER RELIGIOUS LEADERS?
1. JESUS' TEACHING SETS HIM APART FROM OTHER RELIGIOUS LEADERS.
a. No one in the history of the world has paralleled to the quality, the power, and the authority of the teaching of Jesus.
(1) Nobody has been able to show any evil contained within it.
(2) Nobody has been able to show any good that is not contained with it.
(3) Nobody has been able to surpass it.
b. In the Bible, people were amazed with Jesus’ teaching.
“No one ever spoke the way this man does...” said the soldiers in (Jn. 7:46) who had been sent to arrest Jesus.
(Mt. 7:28-29) “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at His teaching, because He taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.”
Back in the first century, the people were astonished and amazed with His teaching, and people are still amazed today.
2. JESUS’ LIFESTYLE SETS HIM APART FROM OTHER RELIGIOUS LEADERS.
a. Jesus’ teaching, the highest ever given, was backed up by a flawless character. In fact, Jesus’ lifestyle was so flawless, that His disciples were convinced that He was without sin and moral flaw. They wrote about His spectacular life style:
(1 Pet. 2:22) “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth. When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats.”
(Hebrews 4:15) “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin.”
b. Jesus practiced what He preached.
(1) He not only taught people to love their enemies; He did it.
During His crucifixion, Jesus looked at His enemy and said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Lk. 23:34).
(2) He not only claimed that the highest thing a man could do for his friends was to lay down his life; He did it (John 15:13).
His pure lifestyle should motivate us to model our lives after Him. Young people, if you are looking for a role model, don't look for it in sports stars. Charles Barclay summoned it up best: I am not your kids role model. Parents should be. Kids, you should model your lives after your parents and more importantly after Jesus.
3. JESUS’ MIRACLES SETS HIM APART FROM OTHER RELIGIOUS LEADERS.
a. In the Bible, we read that Jesus performed about 35 different miracles.
He did things like change water into wine, calm a storm, raise the dead, and cure people of their diseases.
b. Why did Jesus heal people?
(1) He healed people to confirm His Word (Mk. 16:20).
"Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed His word by the signs that accompanied it" (Mk. 16:20).
(2) Jesus healed out of compassion.
On one occasion a man with leprosy came to Jesus and got on His knees and begged him “to make him clean." “Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. I am willing, He said. Be clean” (Mk. 1:41)
I believe with all of my heart that Jesus is still healing people today. Whatever disease you may be struggling with; don't give up; Jesus can heal you.
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours" (Mk. 11:22-24).
4. JESUS’ FULLMENT OF PROPHECY SETS HIM APART FROM OTHER RELIGIOUS LEADERS.
a. Dr. Charles C. Ryrie has pointed out that, by the law of chance, it would require two hundred billion earth’s, populated with four billion people each, to come up with one person who could achieve one hundred accurate prophecies without errors in sequence. But the Bible records not one hundred but over three hundred prophecies that Jesus fulfilled.
5. JESUS’ CLAIMS SET HIM APART FROM OTHER RELIGIOUS LEADERS.
a. Jesus is different from other religious leaders such as Buddha, Mohammed, and Confucius, because Jesus claimed to be God and these other teachers did not. Jesus claims were identifying Him as more than just a prophet or teacher. He made claims to deity.
(John 10:30) “I and the Father are one.”
(John 1:1) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
(Romans 9:5) “Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised. Amen.”
(Titus 2:13) “...while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ...”
Jesus is theos "God." Since Jesus is God, we can put all of our trust and faith in Him.
1. What makes Jesus so great and set apart from other religious leaders?
a. Jesus' teaching, lifestyle, miracles, fulfillment of prophecy and His claims make Him great and set apart from other religious leaders.
2. As I said earlier, Jesus is the great rescuer, and this morning, He can rescue you from your sins and give you eternal life.
3. He can also rescue you from other things as well.
4. He can rescue you from your burdens, your illnesses, your depression, your anger and sadness. Whatever you are struggling with, He can help.
For in (Mt. 11:28-30), He is reaching out to you with the words: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
5. My friends, the great rescuer is here for you this morning, if you would like to come to Him, please come now as we stand and sing.