The Uniqueness of Jesus
Some people say that Jesus is a myth. Many people claim that Jesus was a good teacher. Others claim that he was a prophet. The last two of these descriptions are true but Jesus is much more. Jesus is perfect. Jesus is holy. Jesus is unique. Jesus is God. The Bible attests to Jesus as being “the unique God” and this is shown in John 1:18 when John writes:
No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. -ESV
This sentence is kind of confusing. It is difficult to translate Koine Greek to English and we see this here. I like how the NET Bible puts it because it makes John’s writing more understandable. The NET reads:
To me the NET is much easier to understand, however, there is an interesting question that is begged. If “no one has ever seen God” then how could Jesus be God? This is a great question and within John’s writing he carefully gives us an answer.
John makes a distinction between Jesus and the Father when he writes, “No one has ever seen God.” We could understand him saying, “No one has ever seen the Father.” This is shown by John’s second clause when he writes, “The only one, himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known.”
John makes it clear that he is speaking about Jesus being the designated revelation of the Father. Jesus, who is God, made the Father, who is God, known. This gives us insight into the triune nature of God. Obviously, the Holy Spirit is not mentioned but we have two of the three persons of God differentiated from one another. John also points out that Jesus and the Father are intimately connected.
The NET speaks of Jesus being in “closest fellowship” with the Father. This is an amazing concept but John’s specific word usage is even more insightful. The Greek word he uses is “kolpos”. The Strong’s Concordance gives this as the first definition”kolpos”:
the front of the body between the arms
This imagery is beautiful. Jesus may be differentiated from the Father but he is also intimately connected to the Father. In other words he is like the heart of the Father. Jesus shows us the Father’s heart by giving himself up for our transgressions. Nothing in English can depict such a wonderful connection but John did.
We see that Jesus is God and the Father is God. So, what makes Jesus unique? Well, Jesus is said to be unique when John writes, “The only one, himself God,“. When the NET says, “The only one,” they are translating the Greek word “monogenēs“. The Strong’s Concordance defines this word saying:
1) single of its kind, only
1b) used of Christ, denotes the only begotten son of God
Jesus is the only begotten son of God. He is the single greatest person to ever walk the face of the earth. He is the perfect and holy representation of the Father. He is intimately connected to the Father. In fact he is one with the Father (John 10:30). He is the unique God. I love what Dr. James White writes in an article titled “The Prologue of the Gospel of John”. He says:
The unique God makes the Father known – He “explains’ Him. What we know of the Father we know because of the revelation of the Son. We know what the Father is like because we know what Jesus Is like. Here the Son’s function as the revelator of the Father is clearly set forth, and this is directly in line with the usage of the term Logos in the Prologue.
I pray that we all understand the perfection, holiness, and uniqueness of the Father’s living revelation…Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!