We are all alike in many ways: we get hungry; we get tired; we get thirsty. We have many needs that are alike: food, clothing, shelter. Of course these are physical needs. But in the spiritual area we are also all alike. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
My friend, that Scripture makes no exception. We are all alike. In all of human history only One lived who is different from us and yet like us. He lived here among men. They saw Him as a man and yet He was different. He is Jesus the Messiah.
What evidence do we have that HE IS DIFFERENT? We find the evidence in this Scripture: John 7:40-53.
40 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.
41 Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?
42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?
43 So there was a division among the people because of him.
44 And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him.
45 Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him?
46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.
47 Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?
48 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?
49 But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.
50 Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,)
51 Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?
52 They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.
53 And every man went unto his own house.
From this text we learn that the presence of Jesus started several MOVEMENTS in which we see the evidence that He is different.
The first Movement:
He Made a Division.
They wondered who He was. Some said, “He is the prophet.” By that they were referring to the quotation from Exodus where Moses said God was going to send them a prophet. In fact God said it to Moses, that He was going to raise up from among them a prophet like Moses. So they said, “He is the prophet.”
Then others said, “He is the Christ.” The word Christ means Messiah. They were expecting Him so some said, “This is the Messiah.” But they wondered at where He came from. They knew He came from Nazareth in Galilee and there was no record of any great prophet coming from Galilee. They had it right. They said the prophets said that the Messiah was to come from Bethlehem, David’s town, and from David’s seed.
Well, He was born in Bethlehem. In the genealogies in the Bible His family line goes back to David. The Bible says that because of this there was a division. He made a division. Oh, I find people today who are divided on who Jesus is. Is He the prophet? Is He the Messiah? Who is He? He made a division.
Jesus’ claims started a second Movement:
He Created a Discussion.
Some said, “Let’s arrest him; let’s take him.” But they were unsure what to do. Now the officers who had been sent to take Him came back without Him. They had not arrested Him. When they were asked why they hadn’t brought Him, they answered, “Nobody ever spoke like this man.” So they had a discussion. They talked it over. The Pharisees said, “Are you also deceived?” It was only the common people who believed in Him. “The rulers and the Pharisees don’t believe in Him, do they?” The common people, though unlearned, were trusting in Jesus. So they had a discussion; some wanted to arrest Him; others wanted to investigate.
I have found people today who can talk about Him without making any careful investigation as to who He really is. A good bit of discussion goes on around Him as to who He is, but I find that some never make up their minds. They are just there talking about Him. He can create a discussion. Yes, the subject of Jesus, who He is, can create a rather warm discussion.
But I want you to notice in that last Movement:
He Forced a Decision.
Nicodemus, one of the Pharisees who had come to Jesus by night, made a very interesting statement. He said, “Does our law judge a man before it hears him?” Hold your sentence: a man is innocent until proved guilty; pass no judgment on Him until you have heard his case. But He was forcing a decision. He challenged them to give some consideration to all the facts; to weigh everything before they rendered a decision, to hear Him themselves. Don’t just stand there; arrange for the Man to speak for Himself.
Oh, that is so important today, my friend. Many people read what others have said about Him but they never listen to Him. I have found people who judge without the facts. But any fair minded person will weigh all the facts; he will examine all the evidence before he makes a decision. But a decision he will have to make; he must make it.
Jesus is different because He will make a division, He will create a discussion, He will force a decision. It is today just like it was then. No one can take His place. You are brought face to face with Him. You must make your decision yourself. Are you ready to do that?