You may be one, among many others, who hold to this view that Jesus was simply a really ‘good man’. One that we should surely look up to, follow after, and emulate…to a point.
It’s quite possible, that you don’t even think Jesus should have been crucified. He didn’t deserve that…You would never have spit on him, mocked him, or picked up a rock to stone him. You have enough intelligence to have listened to what He had to say…
Jesus did a lot of good. Jesus healed. Jesus encouraged. Jesus gave. The greatest legacy he left us was a formula for deep love to be given away to others, and worked out in ourselves, if possible. But is that all?
Jesus actually claimed to be God.
If He lied about that, He wouldn’t be a “good man,” He’d be a liar.
If Jesus lied to us, and fooled mankind, He’s a total goon.
Or, what Jesus said to all of us, about Himself, about His Father…is true.
If what He told us is true, then He’s God.
I’d like to challenge you, respectfully, to read the scriptures. The book of John chapter 8 starting in verse 34, Jesus is speaking to a group of Pharisees, who were the highest paid, stuffed-full-of-hypocritical pride, representatives of the religious people of the day. Claiming to be the experts of their time, wanting to be worshipped themselves, they were foolish counterfeits. They were fond of stealing from the people like the cuff-linked, fast talking TV evangelist of our day preys on the poor and the elderly. The Pharisees had great influence over regular Joe’s of the day. They would hold the best tables at the best restaurants, wear long ostentatious robes, pray audibly and loud, throwing their clout around along with their cash.
They liked the attention their position brought with it, but the celebrity Jesus was gaining became infuriating…
The Bible says they conspired to kill Him.
They surrounded Jesus, confronting Him among the people.
What He said to them became, in their eyes, worthy of death. Jesus said, “Most assuredly I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
Jesus continued. “I know that you are Abrahams descendants, but you seek to kill me, because My word has no place in you. I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”
They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.”
Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham.” Discerning their hearts, he goes on. “But now you seek to kill me, a Man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You do the deeds of your father.”
Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father…God.”
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent me. Why do you not understand my speech? Because you are not able to listen to my word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. Which of you convicts me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God, hears Gods words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God…”
The scriptures go on to have Jesus saying these words. “Most assuredly I say to you if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”
How could Jesus say that, if He was just a ‘good man’?
I’ll grant you that someone could definitely lie about something like that, but be able to pull off the most elaborate hoax of all time? Millions dying for His name’s sake in numerous grotesque ways?
Countless imprisoned, and brutality being carried out daily in many forms to the faithful followers of Christ? To have pulled that off, He’d be a total goon…
More likely, though, and the reason why J and I write, the reason why J and I and our families worship, is because of what Jesus claims next.
The stuck up Pharisaical Jews are upset. Jesus has basically told them they’re ignorant sons of the devil, who don’t get it, and they pounce. They decide to accuse Him of Satanic possession.
“Now we know you have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word, he shall never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Who do you make yourself out to be?”
Jesus answered, “If I honor myself, My honor is nothing. It is my father who honors me, of whom you say that He is your God..Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him, and keep His Word. Your Father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”
Then the Jews said to Him, “you are not yet 50 years old, and have you seen Abraham?
Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly I say to you, before Abraham was… I AM.
They took up stones to throw at Him…
Is Jesus just a good man? It sounded like He called Himself one with His Father…
So then is Jesus a full-fledged liar? A total goon?
Or is Jesus God?
Then why are there so many stones flying?