If we could just keep Jesus at a human level, even a great human worthy of our respect for his teachings, life would be so much less complicated. ♦
Wouldn’t it be easier if Jesus was just a normal great man? Or even an acknowledged spiritual leader that we could honor with a mere birthday holiday and just move on? If we could keep Jesus at a human level, even a great human worthy of our respect for his teachings, life would be so much less complicated.
No arguments, no debates. Just a worthy one-and-done life that should be known and studied like a famous historical figure who lived and died and gets an honorable mention or footnote in our history books. Like Lincoln or Ghandhi, or Martin Luther King.
Just think: no religious choices or heavy consequences. Just someone to admire and learn from and try to practice his “philosophy of love and charity.”
Yes, many would say, if Jesus was just a normal great man then the world would be a better place.
Freedom From Accountability
The reason many would wish for such a notion is simply to avoid their own accountability. If Jesus is just a man and not God or some cosmic judge or someone who reminds us of any guilt or regret or regulation or hindrance on any of our own behavior, then life is free to be lived without consequences. Let the party begin, or continue.
As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, of course.
Then one can have sex (“make love”) with anyone (male or female), have an abortion without guilt, stigma or shame, believe Man is his own god or craft one’s own image of god as one who measures and rewards you by your good thoughts, deeds, and well-intentioned actions.
Yes, the world would be a better place and we’d all just get along.
But that would be a lie.
The Dreamer’s Dilemma
Of course, such a dreamer is given the freedom to believe such a lie, to delude and even wrap themselves in Biblical illiteracy and ignorance of what the historical record notes that Jesus Christ actually said about Himself and His purpose. One can say they honestly don’t believe in gravity, but that doesn’t make it go away if they take their heartfelt belief and jump off the roof of a building. Truth is truth and one should investigate it thoroughly and not just read clever articles, or listen to like-minded dreamers and doubters, or snicker and nod at the snide but urbane comments of cool professors.
Foolish is the man who seeks the counsel of other fools.
Yes, the dreamer would do well to come out of the clouds and answer the Jesus question.
“Who Do You Say I Am?”
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” – Matthew 16:13-15
There’s a reason why this pesky Jesus question has persisted for over 2000 years. It’s not because he was a loving man with a beautiful philosophy that makes people feel good about themselves and what happens to them when they die.
The question has implications for all mankind and for all of eternity. People answer it quite differently. Mormons say Jesus is the spirit brother of Lucifer. Islamists say he is only a prophet, lesser than Mohammed. Jehovah Witnesses say he is the archangel Michael who appeared incarnated as a mere human.
Who Do You Say He Is?
Here is who Jesus says He is:
- The unique Son of God, equating himself with God (John 5:18). The Jewish leaders tried to kill Him for this.
- The great I AM (John 8:58). Using the very words by which God revealed Himself to Moses from the burning bush in Exodus 3:14. The Pharisees tried to stone Him for this.
- One with the Father (John 10: 30-33). The Pharisees tried to stone him again for “claiming to be God.”
- “I am, and you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:61-62). This in answering the direct question from the High Priest Caiaphas before the entire Sanhedrin. This is so significant that it sealed His fate for death by the Council. They knew the overt reference to Daniel’s Old Testament prophecy (Daniel 7:13-14) was His claim to be not only the Sovereign of the Universe, but also a prophesy that He would vindicate His claim by judging the very court that was now condemning Him. (Note: ‘coming on the clouds’ is apocalyptic language for judgment. Read Revelation as a horrific fulfillment of that predicted judgment that came upon that generation in Jerusalem in AD 70.)
Additionally, Jesus acted with omnipotence (all-powerful) in healing the lame and sick and raising the dead. He demonstrated omniscience (all-knowing) and professed omnipresence (present in all things). Other passages support Jesus as God (John 1:1, Colossians 1:24-26 and Hebrews 1:8). Ultimately He is the fulfillment of the Law (Matthew 5:17).
In truth, each individual, secular dreamers and earnest seekers alike, are impacted by the Man from Galilee, the Messiah of Israel, the Savior of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Incarnate one. Ultimately everyone is going to have to confront their own answer to the Jesus question. It’s actually an amazing answer that brings meaning to the mystery of life when understood in the context of history without selfish human editing and turning a blind eye to the Bible and evidence before us.
And the world really would be a better place if everyone knew and believed the truth about the greatest story every told.
Have you answered the Jesus Question?
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.” – Matthew 16:15-17