Why Jesus can't be just a good bloke?
OK, so we've looked at the evidence for the existence of Jesus.
you're happy to admit that Jesus lived but you're not sure about this saviour /
messiah / god business? Lots of people think that Jesus was a pretty good guy.
That he wasn't our saviour or God or anything like that, but he had some good
principles and said some cool stuff. But Jesus can't be just a good
A writer called CS Lewis (he wrote the Narnia books)
puts 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 a level with the man who says he is a poached egg--or else he would
be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is,
the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a
fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon, or you can fall at His feet
and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come away with any patronizing
nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.
He did not intend to.
(CS Lewis, Mere Christianity)
What this means is we can't take the likable things about
Jesus - his kindness to women and children, his healing of the sick, his social
conscience - and then ignore the uncomfortable things like the fact that he
claimed to be God.
So where in the Bible does it say that Jesus claimed to
There are many references in the gospels to incidents where Jesus
said he was the messiah and the son of God. Sometimes his comments are clearer
(to modern readers) than others. But to the people of his time, his claims were
crystal clear. Let's take a look at some examples:
- Through his miracles: The compassion of Jesus is well attested to in
the gospel books. There are heaps of times when he made sick people well, cured
blindness and stopped people from dying. Being able to perform such miraculous
acts points to Jesus being the chosen one. But even more important that this was
his forgiveness of sins. Illness and disease can cripple a human life in this
world, but it's the problem of sinfulness that destroys our relationship with
- In his teaching and conversations: Jesus himself admitted that he
spoke in pictures and with figures of speech. However there are many examples of
him referring to his existence before "coming into the world", of him being the
source of life and of him being the one who knows all things.
- By calling himself "the good shepherd": It's not the most glamorous
career looking after sheep, so there must be another reason why Jesus called
himself "the good shepherd". And there is! As far as hands on caring goes,
shepherding sheep is one of the most full-on. Not only that, Jesus is picking up
on references in the Old Testament where God tells the people of Israel that he
will be their shepherd. He will name them, feed them, lead them and protect
them. By calling himself "the good shepherd", Jesus is really saying, 'Hey
everyone, I'm God. I'm the saviour you've all being waiting for'.
- At his trial: Some of the clearest statements of who Jesus reckons he
is were made at his trial. The Jewish authorities prosecuting him were outraged
at what they thought was blasphemy. That is Jesus claiming to be the Lord.
Christianity.net.au used with permission