For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:16-17 NRSV
In researching yesterday's blog, I read the actual Greek translation of the word only - often translated only begotten. In Greek, the Son is actually "the unique one." So, according to the original language of the gospel of John, Jesus is unique. There was none other like him and there will be no one else like him.
I like that Jesus is unique, special, one-of-a-kind. We often tell children that they are special and unique. Yet, we spend most of their childhood trying to get them to conform to some normalcy thereby taking away what makes them unique.
The way I see it, Jesus was really unique. He was 30 years old and unmarried. But he wasn't living with the Essenes (which John may have been) as a hermit. He was out and about, teaching, healing, preaching and calling folks to follow him. He rejected his family (Luke 8:21 comes to mind) which was very much against his whole Jewish culture. He hung out with sinners, prostitutes and blue collar workers (is that the kind of Messiah people were expecting?). He was not a rebel nor a criminal yet, instead of being stoned like a "regular" heretic, he was executed by the Roman government among thieves. And on top of all of this, Jesus loved, had compassion, provided living water and true bread to all who were hungry, lost, and forgotten.
Jesus. Truly the unique one.
God, thank you for Jesus! Thank you for his uniqueness. In his name, Amen.
Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims