The Words of Christ

June 1, 2020

Words can be powerful, and at times, have changed the course of history. Out of all the words ever recorded, the words of Jesus have unparalleled quality.

On one occasion, the chief priest of Israel sent a band of soldiers to arrest Jesus as He was teaching in the temple. When they returned without having arrested Him, the priest demanded an explanation as to why they hadn’t brought Him to them. Their response was simply: “No man ever spoke like this Man!” (John 7:46).

No One Spoke Like Jesus

A truer statement has never fallen from the lips of any mortal. For since the beginning of time until this very day no one has spoken like Jesus spoke!

Think about it. Who else ever said to the wind and the sea, “be still” and they obeyed (Mark 4:39)? Or to the deaf “hear” and they heard? Or to the leper “be cleansed” and they were cleansed? Or to the blind “see” and they saw? Or to the dead “rise” and they rose? Or to the sinner “your sins are forgiven” and they were forgiven? How true it is, “No man ever spoke like this Man!”

One theologian said concerning the words of Jesus: “They are read more, quoted more, loved more, believed more, and translated more because they are the greatest words ever spoken. … Their greatness lies in the pure, lucid spirituality in dealing clearly, definitively, and authoritatively with the greatest problems that throb in the human breast. … No other man’s words have the appeal of Jesus’ words because no other man can answer these fundamental human questions as Jesus answered them. They are the kind of words and the kind of answers we would expect God to give.”

What Jesus Said About Himself

In considering the words of Jesus, rather than focusing on His teaching in general, I want to look specifically at some of the things He said about Himself.

Jesus stands out among other religious figures because He was the essence of His own message. Jesus didn’t point people to a teaching or a god, unlike other religious figures. Buddha promoted a philosophy of life, Muhammad pointed people to Allah, and even Moses and the prophets of Israel pointed people to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In contrast, Jesus called people to Himself:

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28–30

The Answer To Man’s Deepest Needs

Jesus saw Himself as the answer to man’s deepest needs. In fact, when one of His disciples asked to see the Father, Jesus said, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). By this statement, Jesus was not claiming to be the Father or denying the existence of such a person. However, He was claiming a unique equality with the Father so that in seeing Him, one was in essence seeing the Father.