The Book of Isaiah

Wednesday: His Life and Teaching

Isaiah 9:6 In this week’s lessons, we consider some of the many ways that the Lord Jesus Christ is wonderful.
Theme
His Life and Teaching

Fourth, Jesus was wonderful in His sinless life. We look into history and we see those whom we call great men or great women. But we have to realize that when we talk about those who were great from a spiritual standpoint, one thing that characterizes their greatness is the awareness of their own sin. We think of Augustine, for example, who wrote his famous Confessions; or we remember John Bunyan’s spiritual autobiography, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. On the other hand, those we find in history who have an exalted opinion of themselves may be great in their own minds, while others look on and conclude they are egomaniacs.

Jesus Christ was neither an egomaniac nor someone whose greatness was found in a recognition of His own sinfulness. Rather, Jesus’ greatness was seen in His perfect sinlessness as the divine Son of God. Christ asked the people of His day, even of His enemies, “Which of you convicts me of sin?” They had nothing to say. And when He talked about God His heavenly Father, He said, “I do always those things that please him.” There was no person living who could point to a particular occasion when Jesus was guilty of sin. He had many strong enemies who hated Him, yet even they failed every time they tried to charge Jesus with wrong. No one could convict Him of sin. He was wonderful in His sinless life.

Fifth, Jesus was wonderful in His extraordinary teachings. We have a collection of them in the Sermon on the Mount, beginning with the Beatitudes, which are among the best-known ethical teachings in the world. Jesus also gave us what we call the Lord’s Prayer, which provides us with a model of subjects that our prayers should include.

Jesus’ teaching was truly unparalleled. On one occasion, the chief priests and Pharisees sent the temple guards out to arrest Him, and they came back a while later not having done it. When the religious leaders heard this, they asked, “Why didn’t you bring him in?” The guards replied, “No one ever spoke the way this man does” (John 7:45-46). Can you imagine a policeman refusing to arrest someone whom he was sent to arrest because the man spoke wonderfully? Yet, that’s what happened in the case of Jesus Christ. So wonderful were His words, so wonderful was His teaching, that His enemies were unable to effect His arrest until He Himself brought about His own arrest in order to line things up for His own crucifixion.

Sixth, Jesus’ many miracles were wonderful. Now, there were others in the Bible who did miracles. We turn to the Old Testament and we find Moses, the great man of God, being empowered by God to do miracles. We find that on the occasion of the deliverance of the Jewish people from Egypt, Moses was instrumental in the hands of God in bringing ten great plagues upon the Egyptians. Then later, as the people were led through the wilderness, again God worked through Moses to provide food and protection for them in the desert. Elijah and Elisha were also prophets who did great miracles.

And when we come to the time of Jesus Christ we find Him doing many more miracles than people like Moses, Elijah and Elisha had done. We find the Lord Jesus Christ going about healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, cleansing the lepers, driving out demons, restoring the lame and, even in the case of Lazarus and the son of the widow of Nain, raising people from the dead. Last of all, we have the example of His own great resurrection. And in all these wonderful things he was doing for people, he never took payment. His mercy and compassion were boundless and free, pointing people to Himself as the Savior, in whom the kingdom of God had come.

Study Questions
  1. Review Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. How does it differ from the standards that are expressed by people who are not Christians?
  2. What do Jesus’ miracles reveal about Himself and His work?
Application

Reflection: How does the world define greatness? What qualities does it value? What actions does it consider worthy of praise? Describe how this worldly understanding differs from how God views greatness.

Key Point: So wonderful were His words, so wonderful was His teaching, that His enemies were unable to effect His arrest until He Himself brought about His own arrest in order to line things up for His own crucifixion.

For Further Study: Download and listen for free to Donald Barnhouse’s message, “The Christmas Names of God.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)

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