We continue to meditate on the indirect and direct claims by Jesus to be the Messiah, the Son of God. Those who reject Him say He was a con-man or, even worse, a madman. They would say that people make wild claims about themselves all the time, so what is the evidence that what Jesus said about Himself was true? Let's explore some of the evidence:
1) His Teaching. Jesus' teaching is widely acknowledged as the most meaningful teaching that has ever fallen from anyone's lips. "Love your neighbor as yourself." "Do to others as you would have them do to you." "Love your enemies," "turn the other cheek" (Matthew 5-7).
Bernard Ramm, an American Professor of theology, said this about the teachings of Jesus:
"They are read more, quoted more, loved more, believed more, and translated more because they are the most remarkable words ever spoken. Their greatness lies in the pure, lucid spirituality in dealing clearly, definitively, and authoritatively with the greatest problems that throb in the human breast…No other man's words have the appeal of Jesus' words because no other man can answer these fundamental human questions as Jesus answered them. They are the kind of words and the kind of answers we would expect God to give."
Could this teaching come from a con man or a madman?
2) His Works. Some say that Christianity is boring. It would not be boring being around Jesus. When He went to a party, He changed a tremendous amount of water into wine (John 2:1-11) and the best wine that the wine taster had tasted.
What about when He went to a funeral? He told them to take the stone away and remove the bandages off Lazarus! (John 11:44).
What about going to a picnic with Jesus when all they had was five loaves and two fish? (Mark 6:41).
What about going to the hospital with Jesus when a man lying there had been an invalid for 36 years? He told him to get up. He healed him completely (John 5:5).
What about His sacrificial death? —laying down His life for His friends (John 15:13).
3) His character.
Bernard Levin wrote of Jesus: “Is not the nature of Christ, in the words of the New Testament, enough to pierce to the soul anyone with a soul to be pierced? He still looms over the world, his message still clear, his pity still infinite, his consolation still effective, his words still full of glory, wisdom, and love."
The Lord Chancellor, Lord Hailsham, describes the character of Jesus in his autobiography, The Door Wherein I Went,how the person of Jesus came alive to him when he was in college:
“The first thing we must learn about him is that we should have been absolutely entranced by his company. Jesus was irresistibly attractive as a man…what they crucified was a young man, vital, full of life and the joy of it, the Lord of life itself, and even more the Lord of laughter, someone so utterly attractive that people followed him for the sheer fun of it…the Twentieth Century needs to recapture the vision of this glorious and happy Man whose mere presence filled his companions with delight. No pale Galilean He, but a veritable Pied Piper of Hamelin who would have the children laughing all around Him and squealing with pleasure and joy as He picked them up.”
Are you convinced as to His deity yet? Keith Thomas