yesterday began a six-week look at Jesus as proclaimed by the bible and the church for the past 2000 years. while it is politically correct and intellectually ignorant to believe that all religions teach basically the same thing, the fact is, they don’t. and certainly not about Jesus. for example…
jehovah’s witness: jesus was an archangel, a created being, who became a man
mormon: jesus was only a man who became one of many gods
unitarian universalist: jesus was a great man of teaching, love justice and healing
baha’i: jesus was a manifestation of god – a prophet, but inferior to muhammed and baha’u’llah
buddhist: jesus was an enlightened man, like the buddha
christian science: ‘jesus christ was not god!” (mary baker eddy, founder)
muslim: jesus was a mere man, a prophet inferior to muhammed
“i cannot say that jesus was uniquely divine. he was as much god as krishna or rama or muhammed.” – mahatma gandhi
contrary to the other guys, we christians believe this: Jesus was and is God. the whole of the new testament shouts this loud and clear. and even Jesus himself – while many challenge this – knew and proclaimed that he was God. it’s what got him killed.
here are the 10 points i made in yesterday’s talk (you can also find these points made in the book, Vintage Jesus, by mark driscoll, chapter 1)
1. Jesus said he came down from heaven: john 6. 38, 41-42
2. Jesus said that he was more than just a good teacher: mark 10.17-18
4. Jesus performed miracles and said they were examples of divine power: john 10.36-39
6. Jesus said he was without sin (only God is sinless): john 8.46
7. Jesus forgave sin (only God can forgive sin): mark 2.5-7
8. Jesus taught people to pray to him as God: john 14.13-14
9. Jesus said he was the only way to God: john 14.6-7
10. Jesus claimed all authority over heaven and earth: matthew 28.18
the divinity of Jesus matters. if he was – and is God – then we have forgiveness of sins. we have the promise of an eternal future with God. we have direct access and communication to the God of all creation. and we have a pure example in word and deed of how to best live our lives, from the very one who designed living in the first place.
to the claim that Jesus was and is God, there are only three responses that can be given. in calling himself God, Jesus was either a liar (was full if it and knew it), a lunatic (was full of it and didn’t know it), or the Lord (was telling the truth).
cs lewis – a one-time atheist – put it this way…
“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg – or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”