In preparing for a sermon, I came across this section from the Sermon Bible Commentary. In reflecting on John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches,” W. Lindsay Alexander had this to say about the absolute uniqueness of Christ in human history:
When men speak, as they do now, so much of Jesus Christ as only one amongst the many great teachers and benefactors of our race, does it not occur to them as strange and unaccountable that He alone—He alone of all those whose names have come down to us with this honor attached to them—should, in the midst of this advanced and enlightened age, possess a living power and a devoted and loving following.
The writings of many of the great thinkers of antiquity are still in our hands. We value them for what we think they are worth. But, I ask, over whom do they rule? By whom are their authors reverenced and worshiped?
What man in his senses would now profess himself an Aristotelian or a Platonist?
We may delight our intellects with the hard, keen reasoning of an Aristotle, or delight our souls with the sublime conceptions and dulcet words of a Plato; but what man in his senses would now profess himself an Aristotelian or a Platonist? Their power has long since passed away; their scepter is broken; and to most men, even in civilized countries, they are nothing but a name.
But Jesus Christ is still in the midst of us as a living power. Men believe in Him, receive His teachings, confide their highest interests into His hands, love Him with an all-mastering love, and if need be, are ready to sacrifice even life itself for His sake.
And if we have yet to expect a further development of thought which is to supersede Christianity, why has it been so long in coming? Centuries have passed, and yet no sign of its approach is to be seen. Is not the world’s last hope in Christ? Is not our last alternative this: Jesus Christ for all, or a dark, dreary, and hopeless nothing.
Despite centuries of critics and supposed contenders, Jesus Christ remains the central figure in all of human history.