What Makes Jesus Different?I assume you mean, “How is Jesus different from other religious leaders like Muhammad, Buddha, and Confucius?” Well, for one thing, they are all dead. Only Jesus is alive! Only Jesus died and rose to life again. The others all have graves, places where their dead bodies are still buried. Not Jesus! The emptiness of His grave was testified to by reliable witnesses –including some with NO reason to lie about it (see Matt. 28:11-15). He was seen alive by thousands (Acts 1:3, I Cor. 15:6) before He went back to Heaven. If you know Him, you have experienced for yourself that He is alive.
There is another difference. Of them all, only Jesus died in your place. Did Mohammed claim to do this? Buddha? No. Only Jesus. Other moral leaders claimed to be “good,” to be worthy of following. But Jesus was more. When someone came trying to flatter Jesus, He spoke sharply to them. (See Mark. 10:18 or Luke 18:19.) “A man ran up and knelt before Him. ‘Good Teacher’ ...‘Why do you call Me good?’Jesus replied.‘No one is good except God alone.’”Jesus is saying, “If you really believe I am good, then you are calling me God. Is that what you mean to do?”For that is who He is.Only He could die for us as a perfect, sinless sacrifice to pay for our sins.
Yes, He was unique. While He lived the greatest theological minds of His time tried to trap Jesus into an inconsistency or a lie. They never could (Matt. 22:46). The greatest philosophical minds through the ages have examined the words of Jesus, and no one has yet caught Him in an inconsistency or lie. One who tried was Lee Strobel who, as an atheist, set out to prove that Christianity was a farce and Jesus was a liar. By reading the Bible himself, he came to another conclusion –that Jesus IS different from any other, that He is the Son of God and worthy of worship. I suggest you read the book he wrote about this experience, called The Case for Christ.
Others have tried instead to diminish Jesus by saying that He was merely a good guy. Perhaps He was even a great moral teacher, but that’s all. C.S. Lewis dashes this idea:
The really foolish thing that people often say about Him [is]: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic —on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg —or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher.
Lewis’ words are from Mere Christianity, another book worth reading. They are the source of the phrase, “Liar, Lunatic, or LORD!” Those are the choices we each have regarding Jesus.
What about you? Are you lost in moral relativism, willing to say Jesus is some good leader... but unwilling to say, “Jesus is God and Lord”? Or do you see the very real difference between Jesus and every othermoral leader who ever lived? “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
Yes, Jesus is different from any other–He is the only one who can save you.
Helpful Additional Resources:
How is Jesus different from other religious leaders? An article by Got Questions