Accomplishments of Jesus
Introduction: Secularly speaking, there was nothing intrinsically spectacular about Jesus' birth and life. Jesus was born in lowly circumstances (Lk. 2: 7). Jesus never acquired wealth or political power (Matt. 8: 20, Jn. 18: 36). Jesus possessed no unusual beauty or magnetism (Isa. 53: 2). He made many enemies, some of whom were very influential (Matt. 22: 15, 16, 23). Many of those whom he taught forsook him, even his apostles left him at the time of his crucifixion (Jn. 6: 66, Matt. 26: 56). Even Jesus' immediate family did not appreciate him (Matt. 13: 57). What, then, did Jesus accomplish to make him the greatest man to have ever lived?
I. Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice
A. Jesus had an existence before he came to this earth (Jn. 8: 58, Jn. 1: 1 ff). Jesus, the Word (logos), had enjoyed all the splendor of heaven as God (Phili. 2: 7, 8). Jesus offered himself as a sin offering for all the sins of man (Heb. 10: 1-10, 12, 14). Jesus said, "For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matt. 26: 28, cp. Acts 2: 38).
B. All the great men of the world combined could not help man regarding his sins. Jesus is the sacrificial "Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world," exclaimed John the Baptist (Jn. 1: 29).
II. Jesus became the consummate mediator
A. A mediator is a go between, one who acts in behalf of two parties, in this case God and man. Jesus is the one and only mediator between God and man (I Tim. 2: 5).
B. Jesus is peculiarly qualified because he is both God and man (Heb. 1: 8, I Tim. 2: 5). Jesus, then, became the entrance to the Father. Hear him: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (Jn. 14: 6).
III. Jesus set the perfect example
A. Peter said of Jesus, " leaving us an example" (I Pet. 2: 21). "Example" is from the Greek hupogrammos. Vine comments that hupogrammos means, "from hupographo, to write under, to trace letters for copying by scholars" (Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words). Hence, Jesus is the perfect writing, if you will, whom we are to seek to duplicate.
a. Jesus is our example in prayer, standing for the truth, and rebuking sinners (Lk. 6: 12; Matt. 4: 4, 7, 10; Matt. 23). Jesus is our exemplar in the matter of service and keeping God's commandments (Jn. 13: 7-16; Jn. 4: 34).
IV. Jesus provided the definitive teaching for the world
A. Jesus was the world's most outstanding teacher (Matt. 5: 2). Jesus taught "them as one having authority, and not as the scribes" (Matt. 7: 29). Hence, people then and now are amazed (vs. 28). Jesus' teaching is applicable, practical, and concrete. It is also exclusive, I might add. Hence, to go beyond Jesus' teaching is to forfeit God (2 Jn. 9).
a. Jesus' teaching is also so complete that all other teaching is forbidden (2 Jn. 10, 11, Gal. 1: 6-10). In addition to the teaching that Jesus personally uttered while on earth, he articulated his will through his apostles (I Cor. 14: 37).
V. Jesus accomplished division
A. Many do not think of Jesus as effecting division, but he did. He said, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword " (Matt. 10: 34).
a. Jesus caused much division among his Jewish brethren because he would not doctrinally compromise or relent (Jn. 9: 16, 10: 19).
b. There is division today when those who do not love the Lord and his commandments collide with those who cherish and respect the authority of the word (I Cor. 11: 19).
VI. Jesus established his Kingdom
A. The Kingdom was prophesied aeons before Jesus' advent into this world (Dan. 2 ff). Jesus came at the "fullness of time" (Gal. 4: 4). Jesus promised to build his church or Kingdom and he kept his promise (Matt. 16: 18, 19).
a. The Christians at Colosse had been "translated into the Kingdom of his dear Son" (Col. 1: 13). Some continue to wait on a secular, political Kingdom. Jesus never taught or promised such a kingdom (Jn. 18: 36, 37).
VII. Jesus accomplished grace and salvation for mankind
A. Grace came by Jesus (Jn. 1: 17). Jesus came that man might have life and have it more abundantly (Jn. 10: 10).
a. However, this eternal life is not unconditional. If eternal life or salvation were unconditional, as some teach, all men would be saved. Alas, only a relatively few will be saved (Matt. 7: 13, 14).
b. Man must believe, repent, confess Christ's deity, and be baptized for the remission of sins to appropriate God's grace (Jn. 8: 24, Acts 17: 30, 31, Rom. 10: 9, 10, Acts 2: 38).
Conclusion: As you can see Jesus accomplished much. Not only did he achieve great things, Jesus' accomplishments could not have been realized by any other. These lofty accomplishments are reflective of Jesus' Sonship, he was not just an ordinary man!