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Jesus Christ is absolutely unique

23rd August 2006

At that time when the events recorded in the New Testament were happening, there were two major religious leaders in Israel – John the Baptist and Jesus. These two people were not similar, as the first 18 verses of John's gospel explain.

Listen:

Verses 1-5 – Jesus
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

These verses tell us:

  1. Jesus is the Word – the ultimate Message of God. The clearest, greatest communication of God’s nature and mind that mankind has ever received (see last week's column).
  2. Jesus was already with God when the universe was created.
  3. Jesus is God.
  4. Everything that has ever been created was created through Jesus.
  5. Life itself is in Jesus.
  6. The Life of Jesus is the Light of Men – revelation to all humanity of the nature of God, the Universe and everything.
  7. Even today – the Light of Jesus shines in the world.

Verses 6-8 – John
There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

  1. John was just a man. He was sent by God, as were all the prophets.
  2. John was not the Light – he was “only” a witness to the Light.

Verses 9-14 - Jesus
The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

  1. Jesus is the True Light. He gives Light to every man.
  2. Jesus has already given everyone who receives Him the right to be a child of God.
  3. Jesus is Emanuel – God come in the flesh – God come as a man.
  4. Jesus is the One and Only, full of grace and truth.

Verse 15 – John
John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’"

  1. John himself said publicly that Jesus was greater than him.
  2. John also said publicly that Jesus existed before John – although John was conceived first and born first.
  3. Thus, John was testifying that Jesus was eternal – He existed before He was conceived.

Verses 16-18 – Jesus
From the fulness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No-one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.

  1. We are blessed from Jesus’s grace.
  2. Jesus brought us grace and truth.
  3. Jesus is God the One and Only.
  4. Jesus uniquely has made the Father known to us.

Understand, then, that Jesus is not like John. He’s not like the other major religious leader of His day. And He’s not like any other religious leader ever. His qualities are unique because they're attributes of God Himself. Jesus Christ is God.

And how much would we understand of God if Jesus hadn't come in the flesh? What would we know of His sacrificial love for His people if Jesus hadn't died on the cross? What would we know of God’s amazing love for individuals if we couldn't read of Jesus’s love for the lepers and the outcasts? What would we know of God’s nature if Jesus hadn't taught us? What would out attitudes be like if we'd never heard the sermon of the mount?

And we would be totally lost in our sin had Jesus not come to Earth and died in our place as a sacrifice of atonement for us.

Thank God for Jesus, the Light of the World!