Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 8, 1964

Jesus Was Different

Donald R. Givens

The attitudes, planning, methods, and teachings of Jesus distinguish Him from men. Jesus lived in the flesh but He was divine. Jesus was the Son of God in the flesh. (John 1:14). The works that He performed while on earth show clearly that He was different from men. In this article we want to notice a few things about Jesus that prove Him to be in a class by Himself.

— Jesus was sent by God to this earth for a definite purpose. He had an end to accomplish. John records the words of Jesus which explain why He came to this earth. "For God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through him." (John 3:17). Again in John 10:10 Jesus states, "I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly." In John 12:44-46, the record says: "And Jesus cried and said, 'He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that beholdeth me beholdeth him that sent me. I am come a light into the world, that whoseover believeth on me may not abide in the darkness." Jesus, as we see from the above passages and many more, came to save sinners from eternal torment.

The attitude that Jesus had toward sin distinguishes Him from other men. Jesus clearly recognized that SIN is the root of the troubles of mankind. The stain of sin was to be removed from the lives of believers. His mission was one of saving men from evil: "For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10). Jesus emphasizes the fact that mankind must be freed from the bondage to sin (John 8:31-36). He said that everyone who committed sin was the bondservant or slave to sin. Here Jesus was different. The methods that Jesus used to free men from sin were entirely different than what men themselves would have done. The San of God did not seek to change circumstances, but men themselves. He did not try to change environmental or social conditions, but rather the characters and lives of men and women. As the saying goes: "Jesus didn't come to get the people out of the slums — but to get the slums out of the people." Man needs salvation — not a change of climate or social status. Jesus was not a "social reformer," and He instituted no social, economic or political changes. He did not even try to free the Jews from Roman bondage. He joined no political party and established no social clubs. He built no benevolent societies nor educational institutions. But He did establish His church which the saved are added to (Acts 2:47).

Jesus' concern for character and not circumstances. Our Saviour worked to change the hearts of individuals. He knew the heart was the seed or beginning of all actions, and that if the heart was changed to righteousness — then naturally circumstances and conditions would change to the better. The heart must be cleansed and kept pure. Good social conditions will follow as a natural result of a Christian character being instilled in the hearts of men and women. And the body of Christ, the church, is not to be an organization advancing "social reforms." The church is not a social organization, and neither is it a political one. It is the purpose of Christians, members of the church, to teach the Gospel and to save souls. The most precious and priceless thing in the whole world is the SOUL of man. (Mark 8:36).

To attain His mission Jesus used different plans than what men would have used. Jesus completely excludes using force in bringing men out Of sin. He did not use a spear, sword and mighty army. Jesus rebuked his disciples for suggesting force on one occasion (Luke 9:51-56). It was love that Christ sought and love will die or become hypocritical under force. Physical force had no place in the ministry of our Lord.

Neither did Jesus use money. He made no bribes and bought no favors. Jesus denounces anyone who uses such methods. He taught that when wealth was used for selfish purposes, its owner was a "fool" (Luke 12:13-21). Actually, Jesus had nothing material to call His own (Matthew 8:20). He was not rich in this world's goods.

Neither did Jesus use "diplomacy," or political tactics. His conquering power was truth. He did not try to "play politics" with Herod, Pilate or the Pharisees. He made no "deals." The Son of God knew that truth motivated by a sincere love was the conquering power, and we should also learn this. Jesus never appealed to the selfish or greedy side of men to accomplish His mission. He told His disciples that they would suffer persecutions just as He suffered: "If the world hateth you, ye know that it hath hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own: but because ye are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, A servant is not greater than his Lord. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also." (John 15:1820). Jesus did not hide the coming perils and afflictions from His disciples. He never tried to "cover-up" or deceive His followers concerning anything, as a tyrant or dictator would.

Surely Jesus did not act and think as do the majority of men. He looked not for political power or high place in the affairs of men, and He offered no prestige or popularity or material wealth to His followers. He was different, and His disciples must be different than the sinful world.

Jesus taught that the Kingdom He would establish would never perish, but He took the way of perishing to establish it. Many times Jesus told his disciples He would die, but He never made provisions for a successor because He knew He would rise again.

Consider how wonderful a life the Son of God lived among men. Truly, He was different from the rest of men... He is our Redeemer, the Lamb of God, the Saviour of the whole world.

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