Christians over all the world believe that Jesus is different from all other people. He is supreme. There are certain others who look to Jesus as a great teacher, as an outstanding reformer, as a prophet ranking with Moses. But Christians go farther in their belief. They believe Jesus is much more. They believe He is the Son of God. They believe He is supreme. They do so on the basis of the records in the Bible.
In certain cases, His own words tell us this in the books of the New Testament called the Gospels. The arguments for His supreme position are established on the reliability of the record. Is the Gospel record true? Yes, my friend, it is true. I want you to read with me from John 8:48-59 and listen to the words of Jesus as He was talking with these people near Him.
48 Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?
49 Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.
50 And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth.
51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.
52 Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.
53 Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?
54 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:
55 Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.
56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
In this text we must acknowledge He made certain special CLAIMS that set Him apart from all others. Why is Jesus supreme? He is supreme upon the basis of several claims.
The first Claim:
His Claim to Have Power Over Death.
His own people brought an accusation against Him. They said, “You are a Samaritan.” That was a mean thing to say in those days. They said, “You have a demon.” That also was a mean thing to say because that meant that He was deranged; He was mentally incompetent; He couldn’t think straight anymore. That was the accusation they brought against Him.
But Jesus refuted what they said by saying, “I honour my Father, God; you dishonour me, but God honours me; I seek not mine own glory but the glory of Him who sent me.”
And He made an affirmation. Did you notice as you read? He said, “If a man keeps my saying, he shall never see death.” His sayings will liberate those who keep them from death, eternal death. In other words, Jesus is supreme because He claims to have power over death. Doesn’t that strike you as something special? Something different? Nobody else could make that claim. Of course not.
The second Claim:
His Claim to Have Direct Contact With God.
This claim sets Him apart as being Supreme. His accusers said, “Now we know that you have a demon.” This was confirmation in their hearts. They said Abraham is dead; the prophets are dead; everybody dies. How can He say that if one keeps His saying he shall not taste death? Is He greater than Abraham? They said, “Now we are sure that you must have a demon.”
But then Jesus gave a different presentation. He said, “My Father honours me and you claim that He is your God. You have never known Him, really. I know Him in ways that you do not know Him. I have direct contact with God.”
The Bible says in another place about Jesus that He is the only one who has ever seen God face to face. He was in the bosom of the Father before He became flesh and dwelt among us. That sets Him off as being supreme, because He has direct contact with God. That was His claim and it was correct.
The third claim which Jesus made:
His Claim to Have Lived Before Abraham.
They denounced Him. They said, “You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?” Well, if you begin to figure a little bit you soon find that Abraham lived many years before Christ was here on earth. Yes, many years.
But Jesus clarified this for them. He said, “Abraham rejoiced to see my day and he saw it.” I wonder how Abraham saw Jesus’ day. Well, I remember one time when God sent Abraham to Mount Moriah to offer his only son, Isaac, on the altar. God provided a ram to be slain in Isaac’s place and Abraham said, “In the Mount of the Lord, it shall be seen.” He saw the sacrifice of the ram for his son. In that way, I think, he saw the day of Jesus.
Then Jesus went on to say, “Before Abraham existed, I AM.” Do you remember that when Moses was sent by the Lord to Egypt to bring the children of Israel out, Moses asked the Lord, “What shall I say? Whom shall I say sent me?” And He said, “tell them “I AM” hath sent you.” So Jesus could say, “Before Abraham existed, I AM.” He claimed to have lived before Abraham and indeed He did.
Why is Jesus supreme? Because He is God in the flesh. He is not a human being trying to be God; He is God in the flesh. The eternal Word became flesh and dwelt among us. He has the right to claim power over death. He has the right to say He has direct contact with God. He has the right to say He lived before Abraham. He is supreme.
It is, therefore, important, my friend, for you to have the proper relationship with Him. Have you responded in faith?