When, at the close of the third year of Christ’s ministry, the chief priests and Pharisees sent their soldiers to arrest Christ, they came back empty-handed. Their testimony showed that they had been emotionally, morally, and spiritually stunned. They reported, “No man ever spoke like this Man!” (John 7:46). Upon hearing Christ for themselves and being overpowered by His words and His ethical fortitude, such an awe of Him was felt that these temple guards could not bring themselves to apprehend Him, either as a common criminal or as a false Christ.
He possessed qualities of moral integrity and divine righteousness that marked Him as different from all men—different from the rabbis—and indeed a Prophet sent from God. His claims went beyond those made by any rabbi; His teachings sparkled with the luster of truth and godliness; His holiness was unremitting; yet His compassion for the fallen was genuine and offered the forgiveness of the Lord. His understanding of the Law, even at the age of twelve, “astonished” the rabbis, already caught in their own web of self-righteous legalism. (Luke 2:42, 46, 47). His prayer life quietly and modestly surpassed that of Hezekiah. He did signs and miracles beyond those of both Elijah and Elisha, miracles such as had not been seen in Israel in the fifteen centuries since the Exodus. Yet, He called Himself “meek” and was not boastful.
Although He was a Man, He was unique and set apart from all others. He alone possessed and displayed the credentials of the promised Messiah that was to come into the world. These credentials were the out-workings of His perfect moral character. He was the Messiah, and He was in the world; His words, deeds, and manner of life authenticated His divine mission and office (John 1:10-12, 14; 7:46; Mark 1:22).
Let us examine some of the ways in which Jesus was unique, which set Him apart and above all other possible messianic claimants (Matthew 24:4, 5).
6-1 He Was Unique in His Person
These verses worshipfully proclaim the uniqueness of Jesus as the Son of God, the Christ, the God-Man, whose coming into the world was prophesied. They reveal the glory of His Godhead by proving through biblical citations His superiority over even the heavenly angels (vv. 4, 5, 7, 13). Christ is “so much better than the angels” (v. 4); therefore He stands uniquely above even man, prophet, or king who ever lived or will live.
1) “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets” (v. 1). God had already communicated frequently with mankind in various ways. But now, from Jesus the God-Man’s birth to the coming of His kingdom, He stands as God’s complete and final message to a lost world. On the Mount of Transfiguration God said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” (Matthew l 7:5).
2) “Whom He has appointed heir of all things” (v. 2). Jesus, the God-Man, is the heir to God’s entire universe. All born-again believers are joint heirs with Him (Romans 8:17).
3) “Through whom also he made the worlds” (v. 2). With the Father and the Spirit, Jesus was the co-Creator of all things (John 1:3). He is the preexistent Creator, i.e., He is God. Paul tells us, “For by Him all things were created” (Colossians 1:16).
4) “Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person” (v. 3). Jesus is the out-flowing of the glory of the Father, and expresses the perfect character of God. He, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are one in essence (John 10:30).
5) “And upholding all things by the word of His power” (v. 3). Jesus, the God-Man, sustains the universe, exercising all power (authority) over the entire creation. He is sovereign (Matthew 28:18).
6) “When He had by Himself purged our sins” (v. 3). Jesus, the God-Man, is the only Savior (Acts 4:12), having suffered the penalty for all sinners (Isaiah 53:1-5).
7) “Sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (v. 3). Jesus, the God-Man, is the only mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). As our high priest He intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 4:14-16).
6-2 He Was Unique in His Birth
Adam, the first man, was not born: he was made from the dust of the earth. Eve, the first woman, was not born: she was taken from the man. All other human beings were born of human parents, except the God-Man, who had no earthly father. Conceived apart from the seed of sinful man, He had a perfect, sinless human nature (John 1:14; 1 Timothy 3:16). Not only His conception, but also the circumstances surrounding His birth were unique, beyond even those that accompany the birth of earthly kings.
1) He was born of a virgin, as prophesied by Isaiah seven hundred years before (Matthew 1:22, 23; cf. Isaiah 7:14). Note that the “of whom” of Matthew 1:16 is feminine singular in the original Greek, indicating that Jesus was physically born of Mary, not of Joseph.
2) He was the incarnate God (born in the flesh). Isaiah call Him “Immanuel” (“God with Us”), meaning that He was the preexistent, eternal God, now in a human body. (Isaiah 7:14).
3) He was born in the city of Bethlehem, as prophesied by Micah seven hundred years before (Matthew 2:4-6; cf. Micah 5:2).
4) His birth was announced by angels (v. 26; Luke 2:9-11).
5) His birth occurred several weeks after the birth of John the Baptist, who had been announced by the angel Gabriel as the forerunner of the Messiah (vv. 11-19; John 1:6, 7, 23).
6) He was born as a Man, sharing the lot of men; He was poor, born in a stable and cared for in a feeding trough (Luke 2:7). Yet this son of lowly Galileans was worshiped by kings (Matthew 2:2, 9-11).
7) His birth was signaled by a once-in-history star which guided the wise men from the east to Him (Matthew 2:1, 2, 7).
8) Hosts of angels gave forth praises at His birth, and shouted proclamations of coming “peace,” while shepherds flocked to catch a glimpse of His face (Luke 2:8-16).
9) Satan prepared a murderer to slay the Christ child at birth: Herod the Great, a foreigner-king. Herod’s sinful hands were already drenched with the blood of rivals and of the whole royal house of the Hasmoneans, the previous Hebrew ruling line. He was a hardened and ready agent for the murder of the Bethlehem children (Matthew 2:3-18).
10) His birth was uniquely hailed by two aged holy persons, Simeon and Anna. Seeing the babe presented to the Lord in the temple, they identified Him through the Spirit of God as the Messiah who was to bring deliverance to His people (Luke 2:25-38).
11) Just prior to His birth an angel gave Him the name “Jesus” (the Greek form of the Hebrew Jeshua, “Jehovah Saves”), with the announcement, “For He will save His people from their sins,” thus announcing the unique purpose for which He came (Matthew 1:21).
6-3 He Was Unique in His Ministry
He preached with such absolute authority that He was recognized both by His followers and by the self-righteous Pharisees and scribes as being different from all the rabbis who had ever gone before. He was not, as some believed, just another rabbi. His ministry was unique in that
1) He was the greatest teacher who ever lived. His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5¬—7), His “Lord’s Prayer” (Matthew 6:9-13), His Olivet discourse (Matthew 24-25), and His wonderful parables, such as that of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). Are unmatched by any religious or secular teacher who ever lived.
2) He performed the mightiest miracles (Mark 6:35-44). Christ fed the 5,000; He also fed another 4,000: He quieted storms more than once, caused miraculous drafts of fish to be pulled into nets, healed countless multitudes, walked on water, cast out demons, raised the dead, and turned water into wine. Some said He was Elijah (Luke 9:8)—but He was far greater than even Elijah.
3) Jesus was the greatest healer. He cured an adult who was blind from birth (John 9:30-33). He made the deaf to hear, the crippled to walk, and cleansed the lepers (Matthew 11:5). He healed the palsied and cast out demons (Matthew 4:24), and on three occasions He even raised the dead (Luke 7:11-17; 8:40-56; John 11:39-44).
4) Jesus made messianic claims for Himself which were never made by any other prophet or rabbi (John 5:19-30). Jesus said that like the Father, He Himself had power to give life and that He would be the final judge of men on Judgment Day. He said, “He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him” (John 5:23). These are not the sayings of mere rabbis or prophets; they are messianic claims.
5) Jesus was absolutely holy and sinless in His person, His actions, and His standards. He spoke of His own sinlessness: “Which of you convicts Me of sin?” (John 8:46). Even the Roman governor Pontius Pilate confessed Christ’s righteousness as he publicly washed his hands in water, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person” (Matthew 27:24).
6) He was a friend of sinners, offering them salvation (Luke 7:44-50). Christ was even called by His self-righteous foes “a friend of [the hated] tax collectors and sinners!” (Luke 7:34).
7) His ministry alone fulfilled the Old Testament messianic prophecies in Luke 4:16-22. Christ declared the by preaching the good news of God’s forgiveness He was fulfilling Isaiah 61:1. Of history’s messianic claimants, only He fulfilled Zechariah 9:9 which said that the Messiah was to enter Jerusalem triumphantly, riding upon a colt (Mark 11:7-11). Even when His own people rejected His ministry, they were fulfilling prophecy (Isaiah 53:3).
6-4 He Was Unique in His Death
Though He underwent the greatest of public indignations as well as physical agonies, Christ’s faultless behavior at His death has testified through the ages that “certainly this was a righteous man?” (Luke 23:47). Nowhere in history or literature is there a nobler account than that of Jesus facing the cross and then dying upon it.
1) As Messiah He died for His people’s sins, fulfilling David’s detailed prophecy written a thousand years before (Psalm 22), and that of Isaiah seven hundred years before (Isaiah 52:13-53:12). Zechariah, about 450 B.C., foresaw His death as a death by piercing (Zechariah 12:10).
2) Jesus Himself prophesied that He would be put to death, and that His death would be for the sins of many (Mark 10:45; cf. Matthew 16:21).
3) He died as the Passover Lamb, His innocent blood shed for the sins of mankind (John 1:29). In the breaking of His body and in the outpouring of His blood, He saw the Passover Lamb’s atonement at last fulfilled (1 Corinthians 11:24, 25).
4) He died voluntarily, obeying the Father’s will: “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself” (John 10:17, 18). Had He wished to resist His captors He could have summoned twelve legions of angels to fight for Him—but He did not (Matthew 26:52-54).
5) God the Father hid His face from the Son at Calvary, for Jesus, though He had never sinned, was at that time bearing the sins of the world (Matthew 27:46; cf. 2 Corinthians 5:21).
6) Even as He endured the agony of crucifixion He publicly asked forgiveness for His enemies: “Father, forgive them, for the do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).
7) His upright and holy conduct at the cross even caused on of the two thieves crucified beside Him to accept Him as savior and find eternal forgiveness. Such was the unique testimony and power of his dying (Luke 23:34-43)!
6-5 He Was Unique in His Resurrection
Jesus said, “I lay down My life that I may take it again” (John 10:17). He stands alone among all the other so-called religious leaders of the ages: He alone was certified by God to be the Christ, by His resurrection from the dead (Romans 1:4).
1) He rose according to the Old Testament prophecies that the Messiah would rise from the dead. “Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption” (Psalm 16:10). The Crucifixion Psalm (Psalm 22), after describing the Messiah’s death, speaks of His resurrection: “I [the resurrected Messiah] will declare Your name [the Father] to my brethren” (Psalm 22:22). The same is true in Isaiah’s crucifixion passage (Isaiah 52:13-53:12). In the middle of Isaiah 53:10, the subject changes from crucifixion to resurrection.
2) He had prophesied His own resurrection: “From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must…be killed, and be raised the third day” (Matthew 16:21).
3) He rose from the dead, although His enemies had made sure that the tomb was sealed and that a guard had been posted against the possible theft of His body (Matthew 27:62-66).
4) He appeared alive first to a woman. Perhaps He did this to honor those women who had wept and stood by Him, so faithfully and so alone, while the men forsook Him (vv.11-19).
5) His burial bandages were lying undisturbed in the tomb. His body had passed through the bandages that had bound it in death. Grave robbers, in fear of Roman arrest and their own death, would never have taken the time to unwrap the body; nor would His disciples have been so inclined, for fear of the normal putrefaction. Jesus had passed through His wrappings as He had passed through the bonds of death (vv.6-9).
6) He appeared over an over to His disciples, in various locations over a period of forty days. He displayed the energy of a person in excellent health—not of one resuscitated. He allowed them to examine His wounds, to see that it was He (vv. 27¬-29).
7) He arose on the first day of the week (v. 1). Since that day the Christian church has worshiped on the first day of the week to commemorate God’s rest from redeeming the world, just as the Old Testament saints observed the Sabbath to commemorate God’s rest from creating the world (Exodus 20:8-11).
8) By Christ’s resurrection He became the first fruits, the basis of our own resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:20-24).
6-6 He Was Unique in His Ascension
Enoch ascended into heaven but did not die. Elijah was taken to heaven in a whirlwind, but did not die. Jesus, after death, ascended into heaven by the power of His one word, having promised to return.
1) The ascension of Jesus into heaven, like the taking up of Enoch (Genesis 5:24) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:11), was a further acknowledgment of God the Father’s approval of His teaching ministry and His atoning death on the cross (v. 9).
2) The fact that He ascended on high supports the truth that He went to be with the Father, rather than that He merely vanished (v. 9).
3) Christ made a promise, at His ascension, that the disciples would receive power to witness for Him after the Holy Spirit came upon them (v. 8).
4) Christ expressed a command, at His ascension, that the disciples “shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem [home], and in all Judea [throughout their own nation] and Samaria [in adjoining nations, even though unfriendly], and to the end of the earth” (v. 8). Thus the Great Commission to evangelize was given (Matthew 28:16-20).
5) Christ ascended into heaven, but night and day He manifests His concern for His own. He stood to receive Stephen, the first Christian martyr, in heaven (Acts 7:55, 56). He stopped the hardened Saul on the Damascus road, and converted him into the apostle Paul (Acts 26:1, 12-18). He appeared years later to the apostle John to reveal to him the contents of the book of Revelation (Revelation 1:9, 10, 18). Now He walks daily among His churches (Revelation 1:20-2: 1).
6) Christ ascended into heaven in order to become our High Priest who, as God the Son, would always answer the prayers of those who call upon Him in faith (Hebrews 4:14¬16).
7) Christ ascended into heaven to take His seat at the right hand of the Father and make continual intercession for believers (Hebrews 7:25; 8:1).
6-7 He Will Be Unique in His Second Coming
“For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels” (v. 27). When Jesus came the first time, the angels heralded His birth (Luke 2:7-14; Hebrews 1:6). When He comes the second time, to establish the kingdom and sit upon the throne of David (Isaiah 9:6, 7), His angels will accompany Him, “and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:29-31).
Forty days after His resurrection, as He ascended, “two men stood by them [the apostles] in white apparel, who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven , will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven’ “ (Acts 1:10, 11). Thus was the promise again given that Christ alone, of all religious leaders throughout history, would someday return to earth personally and bodily, Buddha, Confucius, and every world leader is gone forever—but the unique Christ is coming again!
Christ’s second coming will:
1) See Him return, not as the “Lamb as though it had been slain” (Revelation 5:6), but in the power and the majesty of His deity, as “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Revelation 5:5).
2) Raise “the dead in Christ…Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17). This is the rapture of the church.
3) Be “as a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2). “That day and hour no one knows” (Matthew 24:36, 42-44).
4) Inaugurate the promised millennial kingdom of peace on earth among men, who will be judged (Matthew 25:3 1, 32) and ruled (Psalm 2:6-12), and among animals, who will live in harmony with mankind and with each other (Isaiah 11:4-9).
5) Put away or destroy the forces of evil who will be gathered against Him:
a) Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:8)
b) the False Prophet (Revelation 13:1-18)
c) the evil armies gathered at Armageddon (Revelation 19:17-21)
d) all evildoers (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9)
e) Satan himself, who will be imprisoned (Revelation 19:11-20:14)
6) Rescue the Tribulation saints (Matthew 24:22, 29-31) and bring about the national conversion of Israel (Zechariah 12:9-13:1).
Christ’s second coming may be soon. “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28).
Master Outline 6 – The Unique Jesus
 What was the soldiers’ testimony who was sent by the chief priests and Pharisees to arrest Jesus at the end of His third year of ministry?
 What were two (2) of the qualities that Christ possessed that marked Him as different?
 Jesus credentials were the outworking of His what?
 What seven (7) ways was Jesus unique?
 What did God say about Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration?
 What seven (7) things does Hebrew 1: 1- 13 tell us about Jesus?
 Conceived apart from the seed of sinful man gave Jesus a what?
 Seven hundred years before Christ, Isaiah prophesied what?
 What does the term “Incarnate God’ mean?
 What prophesy of Micah’s did Jesus fulfill?
 Why do we say Herod the Great was a hardened and ready agent for the murder of Jesus?
 What two (2) aged holy persons hailed Jesus’ birth?
 Just prior to Jesus’ birth what did the angel tell us?
 What were the seven (7) unique marks of Jesus’ ministry?
 What three (3) prophetic scriptures did the Messiah fulfill as He died for His people’s sins?
 How did Jesus’ death relate to the Passover Lamb?
 Did Jesus die unwillingly? YES or NO. Explain.
 Why did God the Father hide His face from Jesus when he was on the cross?
 How did God certify Jesus to be the Christ?
 What two (2) Old Testament prophets spoke of Jesus’ resurrection?
 Why does most of the Christian Church worship on Sunday?
 What did Jesus’ ascension into Heaven signify?
 What promise did Christ make with respect to what would happen after His ascension?
 What two (2) things did Christ ascend into Heaven for?