How Is Jesus Different?
Since the beginning of time, people have searched for purpose and peace in life. Religion has often acted as mostly a spiritual pathway to attain these goals. With many world religions, it’s possible to remove key leaders from the tradition and have the religious philosophy remain intact. This can’t be done for Christianity. Even etymologically, you can’t have Christianity without the Christ—Jesus Christ. So what makes Jesus so special? What sets him apart from those other religious figures? Explore more here.
Questions for Discussion and Personal Reflection
- What are some of the ways in which Jesus is different than other religious leaders?
- What did Bobby mean when he said that "Christianity begins where every religion in the world hopes to end"?
When you look at other traditions, you can in many ways really remove the kind of the key leaders or the founders from those traditions and really still have the kind of religious philosophy intact in some way. It seems to me that if you remove Christ from Christianity, you really don't have the, the tradition any longer. Everything hinges on the very person of Jesus Christ.
Most of our sort of religions are started by people who were just normal folks. Um, and historically, we have record of when they were born and died. And the story of other religions is that we really don't have this issue of sin. Therefore, we don't need an atoner or somebody to pay for our sins, so religions oftentimes just end up being spiritual pathways to try to find some peace or whatever.
You know, religion is, is all about, uh, performance. It's all about, you know, playing the odds. If I do enough, then I'm in. You know, if, if I work enough, if I pray enough, if I give enough, am I going to church enough? But what happens when their performance wanes? What happens when they mess up? What happens when they really, like me, see how dark their heart is?
Christianity's very unique, in that it's very honest about our sin and how that separates us from each other and from God. And it says that actually you can't fix yourself. You can't fix the world. You actually need someone to help you.
My one deep thought is this, is that Christianity begins where every religion in the world hopes to end. I mean, day one, moment one of having a relationship with Jesus, I am given what every other religion is fighting and striving and working and trying and hoping and praying for. I'm given that as a gift, and that promise what Jesus is saying is if you know him, you're going to be with him. If you know him, you never have to worry about going to hell. If you know him, you're eternally secured day one, moment one of knowing Jesus. I was given that.