In our day of “Pluralistic tolerance” and “progressiveness”, it is too common to hear someone say, “I believe that Jesus was a good teacher, just not God”, or “I believe he was a prophet but he never claimed to be God”.
The misunderstandings and misinterpretations about Jesus are abound in our culture. In our day of growing agnosticism and the social acceptance of atheism, we are more prone to rely on human science and reason then we are to actually look at the facts about the person and work of Jesus. Things like philosophy, sociology and psychology are our measuring tools for validity. Gone are the days when scripture used to have authority in our culture.
In fact, scripture has been pushed to the side for so long, people are beginning to forget what it actually said. People forget that Jesus had a voice and was recorded by the writers of the New Testament. Instead many are prone to listen to the authority of their own fallen brains then they are to listen to Jesus himself.
The bottom line is Jesus said he was God. He lived a life in which no one could find fault with, including his adversaries. He performed miracles, loved those who hated him and most important of all, he was killed and rose three days later. So if we make statements like, “Jesus was a good teacher, but certainly he wasn’t God”, we must test those assertions by scripture and give Jesus a voice about his own divinity.
When we examine the person and work of Jesus in the bible we can only come to 3 conclusions based on what he said: He is a Liar, a Lunatic or Lord.
Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me” (Jn. 14:6). We can either believe him based on the rest of his merit, or we don’t. And if we do not believe him, we must call him a liar. Jesus overtly, openly and obviously called himself God. We cannot spout nonsense about him being a good teacher or prophet but not God. Jesus said words contrary to that idea. If he isn’t God, then he blatantly lied to the world about his divinity.
Perhaps the skeptic can come to the conclusion that Jesus was not God, but simply crazy. Reading the Gospels allows us to rule out the possibility of Christ being a non-divine good person or prophet, but could it be possible that He simply lost his marbles?
Jesus claimed to be God multiple times in scripture. But what gives evidence to the fact that Jesus could actually be God was the fact that he never sinned. In one of the Gospels, Jesus challenges his most angry critics, the Pharisees, to charge him of sin. Jesus asks them, “who can charge me of any sin?” And they were not able to bring any charge against him.
I’ve never been crazy or perfect, but I would guess It is tough to be a lunatic and be sinless at the same time.
Looking at all the facts the only other logical conclusion is that Christ is who he says he is. Jesus says that “I [Jesus] and the father are one” (Jn. 10:30). We either believe him in that or we do not.
The other evidence for him as Lord is his resurrection from the dead. Every other leader of a world religion is dead. Buddha, Joseph Smith, Abraham and Muhammad are all dead with marked gravesites. The body of Jesus has never been discovered, even after over 2000 years. The bible confirms that he was raised from the dead and appeared to many.
The facts are there. Jesus was either one of three things: Liar, lunatic or Lord. The idea of Him being a good teacher is not compatible with the facts, unless you think you can be a good teacher and blaspheme at the same time
The skeptic who likes Jesus’ works as a person but does not acknowledge his divinity is using an authority higher than God’s to judge Jesus: their own authority.
Eddie Williams is a Christian, a husband and a father, and public speaker, he also leads a ministry as a pastor at his local church. The 5 year NFL veteran speaks weekly at the ministry and has spoken across the U.S. at high schools, colleges, conferences and ministries. Eddie has been a part of numerous programs for youth, including NFL Play60. He has also given back to the community at organizations like the Cleveland Foodbank, Feed My Starving Children and Veterans hospitals. Eddie is pursuing his Masters of Divinity at Re:train in Seattle, WA and then Western Seminary in Portland, OR. For more from Eddie, visit: Eddiejwilliams.me
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