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A Sinless and Miraculous Life

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“And many of the people believed in Him, and said, ‘When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?’” (John 7:31 John 7:31And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ comes, will he do more miracles than these which this man has done?
American King James Version×
).

Living a sinless life, as unique as that would be, wouldn’t necessarily prove someone is God. However, since Jesus claimed that He was God, and lived a sinless and virtuous life and backed up His claim with miracles, that is a different matter.

The Bible states that “sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4 1 John 3:4Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
American King James Version×
, King James Version). Paul tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 Romans 3:23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
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).

Later Paul says, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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). God will not compromise with His holy and righteous law. Jesus said that “one jot or tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18 Matthew 5:18For truly I say to you, Till heaven and earth pass, one stroke or one pronunciation mark shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
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). The penalty for breaking that law will be paid.

Since we have all sinned, we have all earned death, as Paul says. That is the fate of all human beings— unless someone came along and satisfied the law’s demands. Jesus did this. And, as we will see in a later chapter, it took God to do this. No life of an ordinary human being could be sufficient to satisfy the law’s demand for all of humanity. A life that could satisfy the penalty for the sins of all of us would have to be greater than that of all of us—the life of the very Creator Himself.

This—that the Creator God would be the one to die for human beings so they might live—was thought out before the creation of humanity ever took place. Jesus, as we have seen, is the Creator of all things—and therefore greater than all things, and within Him is the inherent value to satisfy the demand.

It was essential for Jesus, therefore, to live a sinless life. “Him who never knew sin God made to be Sin, on our behalf; so that we, through union with him, might become the Righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21 2 Corinthians 5:21For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
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, Twentieth Century New Testament).

He became the offering for sin that the law expected. “And it is in the fulfillment of the will of God that we have been purified by the sacrifice, once and for all, of the body of Jesus Christ” (Hebrews 10:10 Hebrews 10:10By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
American King James Version×
, TCNT).

Jesus knew this was a major purpose of His coming to earth to live as a human being. “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour” (John 12:27 John 12:27Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I to this hour.
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).

A sinless life laid down for us

The prophet Isaiah tells us that God the Father “laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6 Isaiah 53:6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
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) and “for the transgressions of My people He was stricken” (Isaiah 53:8 Isaiah 53:8He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
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). Then Isaiah asserts His innocence—”He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth” (Isaiah 53:9 Isaiah 53:9And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
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).

Peter, picking up on Isaiah’s words after Jesus’ death, confirms that this was so. “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: ‘who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth’; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body” (1 Peter 2:21-24 1 Peter 2:21-24 21 For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judges righteously: 24 Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live to righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed.
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).

This is an amazing legacy! No sin—not in word, deed or even thought, even under the greatest temptation and stress! Hebrews 4:15 Hebrews 4:15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
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says it this way: He “was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”

Some people may claim to be righteous, maybe even perfect. But few will take them seriously, especially those well acquainted with them. But with Jesus, those closest to Him—who traveled with Him, ate with Him and walked and talked with Him constantly throughout His ministry—testified to and were willing to die for their belief that He was the sinless Son of God.

Jesus challenged His enemies, “Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?” (John 8:46 John 8:46Which of you convinces me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do you not believe me?
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, NIV). The record shows that all the enemies of Jesus could do was hurl wild, unsubstantiated allegations: “We were not born of fornication”— implying that He was (verse 41); “He deceives the people” (John 7:12 John 7:12And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, No; but he deceives the people.
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); and “He has a demon and is mad” (John 10:20 John 10:20And many of them said, He has a devil, and is mad; why hear you him?
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). Even at His trial His accusers had to resort to false witnesses because no one could testify to any wrong He had ever done (Matthew 26:59-61 Matthew 26:59-61 59 Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; 60 But found none: yes, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, 61 And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.
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).

Even those who were not His disciples agreed that the character of Jesus of Nazareth was without blame. Pilate’s verdict was, “I find no fault in Him” (John 19:6 John 19:6When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate said to them, Take you him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.
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). The centurion who oversaw Jesus’ execution, having witnessed a mind and spirit unlike any he had ever seen, “glorified God, saying, ‘Certainly this was a righteous Man!’” (Luke 23:47 Luke 23:47Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.
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).

One of the criminals who was crucified with Jesus added his testimony to the righteousness he witnessed. He rebuked the other condemned man: “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong” (Luke 23:40-41 Luke 23:40-41 40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Do not you fear God, seeing you are in the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man has done nothing amiss.
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).

Jesus lived a sinless and a virtuous life as confirmed by those who knew and observed Him in everyday as well as difficult circumstances. Even members of His own family who had known Him from childhood—His half brothers who initially didn’t believe in Him (John 7:5 John 7:5For neither did his brothers believe in him.
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)—came to accept Him as the perfect, sinless Son of God. His life of character was itself evidence of the truth He claimed about Himself.

Jesus’ miraculous life

Jesus’ life was marked by miracles from the beginning. He was born of a virgin, He turned water into wine, He walked on water, He quieted the storm. He multiplied bread to feed the multitude, He opened the eyes of the blind, He healed the lame and made lepers whole again. He healed all manner of sicknesses among all kinds of people, cast out demons and even raised the dead to life again.

These miracles were so astounding that the people remarked, “When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?” (John 7:31 John 7:31And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ comes, will he do more miracles than these which this man has done?
American King James Version×
).

Jesus pointed to the miracles as proof of who He was. “The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me,” He told some questioners (John 10:25 John 10:25Jesus answered them, I told you, and you believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.
American King James Version×
). Jesus held up the miracles as credentials that He was the Son of God: “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him” (John 7:37-38 John 7:37-38 37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink. 38 He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
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).

When the messengers from John the Baptist went to Jesus to ask Him if He were indeed the One who was to come in fulfillment of all the messianic prophecies, notice Jesus’ reply: “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them” (Matthew 11:1-5 Matthew 11:1-5 1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed there to teach and to preach in their cities. 2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, 3 And said to him, Are you he that should come, or do we look for another? 4 Jesus answered and said to them, Go and show John again those things which you do hear and see: 5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
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). Jesus fully expected John to understand that such works would be all the evidence he needed.

The miracles demonstrated clearly who Jesus was, just as He intended. He healed one paralyzed man with the accompanying words, “Son, your sins are forgiven you” (Mark 2:5 Mark 2:5When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the sick of the palsy, Son, your sins be forgiven you.
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). He explained to those gathered there that He had healed the man “that you may know that the Son of Man has power [authority] on earth to forgive sins” (Mark 2:10 Mark 2:10But that you may know that the Son of man has power on earth to forgive sins, (he said to the sick of the palsy,)
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). His critics got the point. They remarked, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:7 Mark 2:7Why does this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
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).

On another occasion He said, “If I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Matthew 12:28 Matthew 12:28But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come to you.
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). Jesus wanted them to know that they were dealing with a person who was empowered by the Spirit of God, representing the very Kingdom of God.

Pharisees seek a sign

These miraculous healings weren’t enough for the skeptics, however. They wanted more. Twice He was asked for a miraculous sign (Matthew 12:38 Matthew 12:38Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from you.
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; Matthew 16:1 Matthew 16:1The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would show them a sign from heaven.
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). His reply was the same on both occasions. “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah” (Matthew 12:39 Matthew 12:39But he answered and said to them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
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; Matthew 16:4 Matthew 16:4A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
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).

The skeptics in Matthew 12 had just witnessed the miracle of Jesus casting out a demon and thereby healing the blind and mute man (Matthew 12:22 Matthew 12:22Then was brought to him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, so that the blind and dumb both spoke and saw.
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). They justified their disbelief by snarling that Jesus had only been able to perform this miracle by demonic power (Matthew 12:24 Matthew 12:24But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow does not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
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). Jesus showed the ridiculousness of their argument and proceeded to give them a stern warning about denying what they had witnessed with their own eyes.

Unwilling to accept the conclusion to which these wondrous works plainly led, they then asked for another sign. Jesus then drew the conclusion for them. “The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater [ One ] than Jonah is here” (Matthew 12:41 Matthew 12:41The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.
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).

Jesus was saying that the miracle they acknowledged had occurred, but chose to explain away, was sufficient to prove to any reasonable person who He was. Their demands for signs were met with a rebuke from Jesus. Then He simply left them (Matthew 16:4 Matthew 16:4A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
American King James Version×
). The only sign He gave—”the sign of the prophet Jonah”—would be His final proof that He was indeed the Son of God. What was this proof? He would be in the grave, following His death, only and exactly three days and three nights—for He would rise again at the end of that period.

Beginning and ending with miracles

Miracles have always been a challenge to the skeptic. If a person begins with the denial of anything that defies the laws of nature—the supernatural, in other words—then it’s a forgone conclusion that the miracles really didn’t happen. Then one can only look for other ways to explain the occurrences recorded in the Bible—or deny that they happened at all.

But the true historical record of Jesus shows that His physical life here on earth began with an intervention of divine will superimposing its power over natural law—that of a virgin conceiving and bearing a Son. The story of the Gospels ends in the same way—with the divine power extended to resurrect Jesus back to life. His entire life was a miracle from beginning to end—and to beginning again. We’ll learn more about that in the next chapter.

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