Why Jesus? He Made Claims and Did Things No Man Ever Did
Why Jesus? Look throughout the major world religions and you’ll find that Buddha, Muhammad, Confucius and Moses all identified themselves as teachers or prophets. None of them ever claimed to be equal to God. Surprisingly, Jesus did. That is what sets Jesus apart from all the others. He said God exists and “you’re looking at Him when you are looking at me”.
John 14:8-9 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” 9 Jesus replied, “Philip, I have been with you all this time, and still you do not know Me? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
In the letter to the Colossians, Chp 1: v 15-18, Paul writes:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation: 16 for [b]by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or rulers, or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He [c]is before all things, and in Him all things [d]hold together.
What the Scripture is saying in the preceding passage is that Jesus is God Almighty, the Creator of all things, manifested in the flesh. He is God come down in human form, to show us what the Father – the “invisible God” – looks like. When we see Jesus, we see the Father.
Though he talked about his Father in heaven, it was not from the position of separation, but of very close union, unique to all humankind. Jesus said that anyone who had seen Him had seen the Father, anyone who believed in him, believed in the Father.
He Claimed Not to Point the Way, But to Be “The Way, The Truth, and The Life”
He said, “I am the light of the world, he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”14 He claimed attributes belonging only to God: to be able to forgive people of their sin, free them from habits of sin, give people a more abundant life and give them eternal life in heaven. Unlike other teachers who focused people on their words, Jesus pointed people to himself. He did not say, “follow my words and you will find truth.” He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me.”15
This is when the religious leaders of the day sought to kill Him. It wasn’t that He was a great teacher. Or that He performed miracles. They clearly saw and understood by the things which Jesus did and said that He was claiming to be God in human form.
John 10: 33 The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy and because thou, being a man, makest thyself God.”
But what proof did Jesus give for claiming to be divine? He did what people can’t do.
- Jesus performed miracles. He healed people…blind, crippled, deaf, even raised a couple of people from the dead.
- He had power over objects…created food out of thin air, enough to feed crowds of several thousand people.
- He performed miracles over nature…walked on top of a lake, commanding a raging storm to stop for some friends.
- Finally, He is the only one to have risen from the dead
People everywhere followed Jesus, because he constantly met their needs, doing the miraculous. He said if you do not want to believe what I’m telling you, you should at least believe in me based on the miracles you’re seeing.
Jesus Christ showed God to be gentle, loving, aware of our self-centeredness and shortcomings, yet deeply wanting a relationship with us. Jesus revealed that although God views us as sinners, worthy of his punishment, his love for us ruled and God came up with a different plan. God himself took on the form of man and accepted the punishment for our sin on our behalf. Sounds ludicrous? Perhaps, but many loving fathers would gladly trade places with their child in a cancer ward if they could. The Bible says that the reason we would love God is because he first loved us.
He Paid the Price for Us Falling Short
Jesus died in our place so we could be forgiven. Of all the religions known to humanity, only through Jesus will you see God reaching toward humanity, providing a way for us to have a relationship with him. By and large, all other world religions are “works based”, with you reaching out to God, and hoping for acceptance based on your works.
- This is the case with Islam, where Allah is going to weigh your works on a scale when you leave this life, whether good or bad. You have no assurance of salvation.
- This is also true of Buddhism, where your diligence in following the Nobel Truths and 8 Fold Path may (or may not) eventually get you to Nirvana (after an untold number of re-births)
Jesus proves a divine heart of love, meeting our needs, drawing us to himself. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, he offers us a new life today. We can be forgiven, fully accepted by God and genuinely loved by God. He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”17 This is God, in action.
Does God exist? If you want to know, investigate Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us that…
“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
God does not force us to believe in him, though he could. Instead, he has provided sufficient proof of his existence for us to willingly respond to him. The fine-tuning of the universe, the solar systems, and even nature itself; that mysterious “big bang” that got everything started; the amazing properties of water, and the human brain; DNA, the program code of all living things; and the “moral law” or compass we all live by. Finally, consider Jesus, who said things no other “holy man” ever said, and did things that were inexplicable unless He was “God in the flesh”.
As C.S Lewis wrote in “Mere Christianity”:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. … Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.”
Would You Like to Know Jesus Personally?
So let me ask you. Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? If you do, then you have everything to look forward to – in this life, and in the life to come. Peace with God, joy in your daily life, fulfillment of God’s purpose while here on earth, and life eternal. You were made for a purpose, and your daily walk with Jesus will help you come to realize His purpose in your life and fulfill it. If you don’t have a relationship with your Creator, you can! Give Jesus a chance! Don’t put it off. Ask Him into your life and to wash you, cleanse you of all your sins, and make you “a new creation”! You have nothing to loose everything to gain. Here is a link to Billy Graham’s web site that can show you how you can invite Jesus into your life and be the creation He has always intended you to be …
>> Take Me to Steps to Peace With God ==> http://www.billygraham.org/SH_StepsToPeace.asp