104 Jesus Is The ONE!
Look with us at the scriptural evidence that reveals that Jesus is not just a great one but is the greatest ONE. We brag about Jesus and how he stands head and shoulders above everyone prophet in every way. What He tells us about God carries more weight than anyone else in the Bible. God himself says listen to Him.
Jesus is the ONE A Gospel Primer.
Bragging about Jesus Christ.
JESUS IS NOT ONE AMONG MANY. HE IS THE ONE.
1. Jesus is superior to all the prophets: He made the character of God known. He created the universe. He alone among the prophets is seated at the Father’s right hand.
Hebrews 1:1-3 NLT Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. 2 And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. 3 The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.
2. God instructed that Jesus words supersede those of Moses and Elijah. Matthew 17:5 NLT
But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.”
Peter wanted to honour Moses, Elijah and Jesus but the voice from the cloud commanded it is Jesus we need to listen to. Moses (the law) and Elijah (the prophets) have had their say BUT now the pure One has come and we must listen to him above all others.
3. Jesus claims superiority for the Gospel over the messages of the prophets
Luke 16:16 NLT “Until John the Baptist, the law of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides. But now the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is eager to get in.[a] a. 16:16 Or everyone is urged to enter in.
4. John recognised the superiority of Jesus over Moses
John 1:16-17 NLT From his (Jesus) abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.
Law is superior to anarchy, but God’s grace and the truth about God are far superior to law. We are relational beings and as such we transcend law. This does not mean that we discard law but that love is greater than the most devoted obedience.
5. Jesus ranked John the Baptist above all other prophets. Matthew 11:11 NLT “I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist.
Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is! This is because John moved forgiveness away from temple rituals to the grace of God. Those John baptized were forgiven of all sin. In this way he moved from Moses and the Prophets towards the Kingdom of God. Jesus will complete the move by unilaterally declaring that people’s sins are forgiven independent of their actions (Matthew 9:2, 6; John 1:29; 5:24; 8:10-11).
6. John the Baptist ranked Jesus superior to himself.
John 1:15 John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’” John 1:26-27 John told them, “I baptize with water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not recognize. 27 Though his ministry follows mine, I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandal.” John 1:29-30 NLT The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’
If you have not met Jesus you need to meet Moses, Elijah and John the Baptist. These are illustrious prophets of God and you can do no better until you meet Jesus. However, once you have met Jesus all other prophets fade into the background, for they all had mixed messages about God. Only Jesus brought the pure picture of his Father. Focus on Jesus, he is the pure Word of God. The Bible is the word of God as it brings us Jesus.
7. Jesus claimed superiority to John the Baptist
John 5:36 NLT. But I have a greater witness than John—my teachings and my miracles. The Father gave me these works to accomplish, and they prove that he sent me.
8. Paul assigns universal superiority to Jesus in every way because of his death and resurrection.
Ephesians 1:19-22 NLT I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.
9. John the Revelator assigns cosmic superiority to Jesus Revelation 5:6-9 NLT Then I saw a Lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered, but it was now standing between the throne and the four living beings and among the twenty-four elders. . . 7 He stepped forward and took the scroll from the right hand of the one sitting on the throne. 8 And when he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 9 And they sang a new song with these words: “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. ...
10. Jesus is unique as the only eyewitness of the Father:
John 1:18 NLT No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us. (John 6:46; 1 Timothy 6:16; 1 John 4:12 )
11. The Old Covenant Veil of misunderstanding is only removed in Christ
2 Corinthians 3:14-16 NLT But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. 15 Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand. 16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
JESUS NOT ONLY REVEALS THE GOSPEL—HE IS THE GOSPEL
1. Jesus gives the clearest revelation the of Father’s heart or character (this is the gospel, the good news):
Matthew 5:43-48 NLT
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Verse 48 is better phrased as Luke records it:
Luke 6:36 NLT You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.
2. Jesus gives the shortest summary of the conflict between evil and good, or the devil and God:
John 10:10 “The thief (the devil) comes ONLY to steal, kill and destroy. I have come to give you abundant life (joy).”
3. Jesus’ care for us includes dying to protect us from the lies of the deceiver. This is the gospel.
John 10:11 NLT I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. Human shepherds protect and care for their sheep only to end up eating the sheep.
This is not a parallel with Jesus’ protection and care for us. He sacrificed himself so we could live eternally. Jesus becoming a human can be compared to a shepherd becoming a sheep so he could love and serve the sheep (Matthew 20:28).
Jesus did not become a human so that we would love and worship him. These are ego-centric motivations that were not part of Jesus’ love for us. He became one of us so we could experience his love and service.
4. Jesus’ death is the proof that God is not selfish
Jesus placed the welfare of his creation ahead of his own comfort. Jesus’ death demonstrates that he (God) would rather die forever than leave us to our doom.
The devil has always accused God of being selfish because he has made everything he ever wanted. The temptations of Jesus in the wilderness demonstrate this claim. All three temptations appealed to Jesus desire for comfort and acceptance. Stones to bread to satisfy your hunger. Suddenly appearing in the temple courtyard meant acceptance of you as Messiah. All the kingdoms of the world given to you means you will have no suffering. On the cross Jesus faced the choice of dying forever or coming down from the cross and going home to heaven. He chose to die. This is what defeated the devil's accusations in the court of the universe (John 12:31). In this way he won the battle for the universe. The cross includes the salvation of sinners on planet earth, but it is also much more than this. It is the pivot point of the welfare of the universe in time and timelessness.
5. Jesus’ death is proof that we could not stop God loving us.
When Jesus died on the cross—at OUR hands he demonstrated that we could not stop God loving us. We tried our hardest to push him to the point where he would say, "Enough, they have filled their cup of iniquity. I will annihilate them as I drowned them all once before." This is the message of the Old Testament but NOT the message of Jesus in word and deed.
How amazing is this astonishing love of God for us!
Ian Hartley, April 2022.