Unprecedented, Unparalleled, Unrivaled, Unique. Luke 9:18-20

Unprecedented, Unparalleled, Unrivaled, Unique. Luke 9:18-20

Introduction

Luke 9:18-20 ESV  Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”  (19)  And they answered, “John the Baptist. But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.”  (20)  Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”

The Late Rev. James Stewart has this to say about this passage:

He began with the impersonal question—“Whom do men say that I am?” That, at any rate, was not difficult to answer. For on every side men were saying things about Jesus. A dozen verdicts were abroad. All kinds of rumors and opinions were in the air. Jesus was on every tongue. And men were not only saying things about Jesus; they were saying great things about Him. Some thought He was John the Baptist back from the dead. Others said He reminded them of Elijah. Others spoke of Jeremiah or another of the prophets. In other words, while current opinions were by no means unanimous as to Jesus’ identity, they were unanimous that he was someone great. His place was among the heroes of his race.

But Jesus was not content with that recognition. People were saying that he was John, Elijah, Jeremiah. But that meant that he was one in a series. It meant that there were precedents and parallels, and that even if he stood first in rank, he was still only primus inter pares, first among his equals. But quite certainly that is not what the Christ of the New Testament claimed. Men may agree with Christ’s claim, or they may dissent from it; but as to the fact of the claim itself there is not the shadow of a doubt. Christ claimed to be something and someone unprecedented, unparalleled, unrivaled, unique.

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Point One – Jesus said Extraordinary things

Luke 9:20 ESV  Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”

  • Jesus claimed to be someone unprecedented, unparalleled, unrivaled, and unique.
    • The very fact that He claimed to be God makes Him someone unique in history, regardless of whether that claim is true or not, the fact that He made it makes Him unique.
    • Jesus is not the same as Muhamad… because Muhamad never claimed to be God, he simply claimed to be a prophet.
    • Jesus is not the same as Buddha, Buddha specifically taught that he was not a god.
    • In fact, interestingly enough, Muhamad believed and taught that Jesus was a great teacher and prophet… like the Jews of old he would say of Jesus that He is like “John the Baptist, Elijah, or like one of the prophets of old”
  • But Jesus was different… Jesus said things and claimed things that were extraordinary!

Matthew 10:37 ESV  Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

  • Now if Jesus is just the leader of some cult that happened to catch on, as some say that He is, then this line doesn’t make any sense does it?
    • Some recruiting technique Jesus! Maybe chill out on the whole “Look how awesome I am” thing, telling people to love You more than there parents?
  • Who in their right mind would say this… Therefore Jesus must be a lunatic… or He is Lord.
  • Because if He is God this line makes since… yes we can all agree we should love God more than our family.
    • But Elijah never asked us to love him more than family…
    • John the Baptist never made such claims…
    • It’s an extraordinary claim!

Matthew 11:27 ESV  All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

  • How are you going to look at a group of religious scholars who have studied scripture their whole life and say “Only I know God the Father, and only people who I reveal the Father to will know Him”
    • That’s kind of a cocky thing to say Jesus! I mean these guy’s know scripture backward and forward… who do you think you are?
    • Of course this is cocky… unless Jesus and the Father are one…

John 10:30 ESV  I and the Father are one.”

  • Wait… you are now full out claiming to be God?!
    • Make no mistake about it, that’s what Jesus is doing here…
    • Everyone knew that too, they tried to stone Him for it!
    • To say that Jesus never claimed to be God is to ignore scripture…

John 20:26-29 ESV  Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”  (27)  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”  (28)  Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”  (29)  Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

  • I don’t know how to make it clearer… Thomas just straight up called Jesus Lord and God, and Jesus responded by affirming His belief and the belief of others who have not seen Him.
  • Look, there is no way to read your Bible and then make the claim “Well Jesus was a good prophet, or a great teacher… but he wasn’t God.”
    • Because of all the things Jesus said about Himself, in this is just a small sample what I shared with you, because of all of this there is no way Jesus was a good person but not God.
      • He either was a liar and a cheat, or He was God!

Point Two – Jesus Did Extraordinary Things

  • Jesus didn’t just say extraordinary things… He did extraordinary things.
    • In John chapter 11 Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead… even though Lazarus had been dead for days.
      • Even the most extraordinary doctors can’t do that!
    • In Matthew 14 Jesus walks on water.
    • In His first miracle ever Jesus turned water into wine.
    • Jesus healed people just by touching them… even healing Leprosy, the worst disease of the time.
    • Jesus spit into dirt to make mud and then rubbed that spit mud into a blind mind’s eyes… and it cured the blindness.
    • Jesus told the disciples to catch a fish and open it’s mouth… in it’s mouth was money to pay taxes!
      • Some of us could use that miracle this time of year, Lord!
    • Jesus told crippled men to get up and walk… and they did.
  • All throughout the Gospels Jesus does Extraordinary things that put the prophets of old to shame!
  • And He did them effortlessly!
  • But it wasn’t just these crazy physical miracles that Jesus did that were extraordinary…

Matthew 9:2-7 ESV  And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.”  (3)  And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.”  (4)  But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?  (5)  For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?  (6)  But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.”  (7)  And he rose and went home.

  • I find the forgiveness of sins far more extraordinary than the other miracles.
    • I mean in 1 Kings 17 Elijah raises a dead boy back to life.
    • In Exodus 14 Moses parts the water of the Red Sea.
    • Daniel was thrown into the lions den and not eaten.
    • Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego did not burn alive in the furnace.
    • Even Elisha’s bones were able to revive the dead in 2 Kings
  • The Old Testament is FULL of miracles… but of all the prophets, all the miracles, all the EVERYTHING! No one but God ever claimed to be able to forgive sins… then Jesus comes on the scene and forgives sin.
  • This, church, is the most extraordinary thing Jesus ever did. Amen?!

Point Three – As His Followers, We Should Be Extraordinary People!

  • Here is one more extraordinary thing Jesus said:

Matthew 28:18 ESV  And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

  • WHAT A THING TO SAY!
    • How much authority has been given to Jesus?
    • Some authority?
    • A bunch of authority?
    • Only earthly authority?
    • NO! ALL AUTHORITY IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH!
  • That’s a crazy thing to say… but look at what He follows that up with…

Matthew 28:18-20 ESV  And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  (19)  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  (20)  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

  • Look at that word in verse 19, THEREFORE… that means “Because”
  • In other words, Jesus is saying “Because all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me I am now calling you to go and spread the Gospel and make disciples… I am now imparting that power and authority on you” Jesus is saying “on you, my church, my bride, take that unprecedented, unparalleled, unrivaled, and unique power and authority and use it to make disciples!

John 14:12 ESV  “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.

  • Now if I have convinced you in this message that Jesus did extraordinary things… then this verse ought to tell you that YOU should be doing even more extraordinary things!
    • Praying for the sick.
    • Preaching the good news.
    • Prophesying.
    • Healing.
    • Casting out demons…
    • This is just the start of it!
    • GREATER WORKS WILL WE DO! CHRIST HAS GIVEN US THE AUTHORITY TO DO IT!
  • Therefore, church, if you are living an ordinary life. One that is not unique, one that is paralleled by many others, one that is… well… normal… THEN YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!
    • We are called to be, as God’s people, we are called to be unprecedented, unparalleled, unrivaled, and unique.

Romans 8:37 ESV  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

1 Peter 2:9 ESV  But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

  • WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE PROCLAIMING THE EXCELLENCIES OF GOD! WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE MORE THAN CONQUERERS!
    • So yeah, people might thing you are weird… because you are! That’s part of being unique… people looking at you differently.
    • Yeah, people at work might call you names like “Man of the cloth”, great! That means you are standing out for your faith.
    • Yeah you might get knocked down, rejected, and persecuted! Great! Your just being like Jesus then!
  • Be the person who believes that heaven and hell are real, and then do something about it!
    • You know, I was in the gas station the other day and the attendant was talking about her transgendered sister to another employee.
    • I commented “Wow, talking about politics at work, that’s risky”.
    • To which she responded “Well, it’s not really politics… my sister is transgender… it doesn’t really matter, she is going to hell anyway”.
    • That took me aback…
    • I said “You know the Bible says that God is not willing for any to perish but all to come to repentance. Maybe your attitude shouldn’t be ‘My sister is going to hell’ and should be ‘I am going to pray like it’s nobody’s business that my sister repents and get’s saved’”
    • The clerk responded… “Nope, she is going to hell. The bible says ‘male and female’ or something like that… she’s definitely going to hell”.
    • I left heartbroken… in my car, you know what I did… I prayed for her… I prayed that she would be saved and learn the truth of the grace of God, because it was clear to me she had not experienced it. Then I prayed for her sister that her transgender sister would be saved and protected from the unsensitivity of her sister.
  • Was it super weird to quote the Bible in the middle of a gas station?
    • Yes.
  • Did people stop what they were doing and look at me funny?
    • Oh yeah!
  • But you know what… I don’t want that lady to go to hell… and I don’t want her sister to go to hell… and I am not going to sit idly by watching it happen! I AM GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Because I am more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus.
  • And If I see someone who needs healing I am going to pray for them.
  • And if I see someone who needs love, I am going to hug them.
  • And if I see someone who needs salvation I am going to preach the gospel to them and intercede on their behalf.
  • You see what I am going to do is I am going to be unprecedented, unparalleled, unrivaled, and unique… because I am going to war for the souls of people no matter what!
  • And don’t say “Well that’s just because he is a pastor”… y’all I was doing this way before I was a pastor… I was doing this in the IT department of Sun Grow Horticulture…
    • I was doing this in the call center as Speakeasy High Speed DSL.
    • I was doing this at the corporate offices of Tommy Bahama
    • I was doing this while working as a security guard at Tiffany and Co Jewelry
    • I was doing this as a student at the University of Washington
    • I even did this kind of stuff in Highschool right after I got saved.
  • Because I believe the extraordinary stuff Jesus said.
  • Because I believe He did the extraordinary stuff the Bible says He did.
  • Because I believe that I have been given the power and the authority to make disciples!
  • AMEN?!

Conclusion

  • Gospel Call
  • Prayer for Boldness

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