WHO IS JESUS?: GOD OR JUST A GOOD MAN?
Exclusive text by José Nuñez part 1.
Today I want to bring you a teaching from Pastor José Nuñez about the identity of Jesus of Nazareth. I will do it in two deliveries, do not miss it:
WHEN we talk about who Jesus is we have three options: it is called a trilemma: is Jesus a liar, a madman or God?
Jesus' various claims to be God eliminate the popular ploy of skeptics who see him simply as a man of good morals or a prophet who said many profound things.
Too often that conclusion is passed off as the only one acceptable to scholars or as the obvious result of the intellectual process. The problem is that many people nod their heads and never see the fallacy of such reasoning. Analysing Jesus' claim to be God
C. S. Lewis, who was a professor at Cambridge University, had been an atheist or agnostic, but later he understood this issue clearly. He writes: "I am trying to prevent anyone from saying the nonsense that people often say about Him: 'I am willing to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I do not accept his claim to be God.' That is the only thing what we shouldn't say. A man who was just a man and said the kind of things that Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would be a lunatic, on the same level as the man who says he is a poached egg, or else , would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the son of God: either a madman or worse."
Then Lewis adds: "You can play him for a fool, you can spit on him and kill him like a demon, or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let's not come up with any condescending nonsense about him being a great teacher. that open. He didn't mean to do it."
In the words of Kenneth Scott Latourette, historian of Christianity at Yale University: "It is not His teachings that make Jesus so remarkable, although that would be enough to give him distinction. It is a combination of the teachings with the man himself. Those two They cannot be separated."
Jesus claimed to be God. He left no other option open. His statement must be true or false, therefore it is something to be seriously considered. Jesus asked his disciples: "But who do you say that I am?" (Matthew 16:15) has several alternatives:
-First, suppose that his claim to be God was false. If it was false, then we have only two alternatives. He either knew it was fake or he didn't know it was fake. We will consider each one separately and examine the evidence.
-Was he a liar? If when Jesus made the claims about him, he knew that he was not God, then he was deliberately lying and misleading his followers. But if he was a liar, then he was also a hypocrite because he told others to be honest, at any cost, while teaching and living a colossal lie himself. More than that, He was a demon, because he told others to trust Him for his eternal destiny. If he could not back up his claims and he knew it, then he was unspeakably evil.
Lastly, he too would be a fool because it was his claims to be God that led to his crucifixion. Many will say that Jesus was a good moral teacher. Let us be realistic. How could he be a great moral teacher and knowingly mislead people on the most important point of his teaching: his own identity? We would have to logically conclude that he was a deliberate liar.
This view of Jesus, however, does not match what we know of him or the results of his life and teachings.
Wherever Jesus has been proclaimed, lives have been changed for the better, nations have been changed for the better, thieves are made honest, alcoholics are cured, hateful individuals become channels of love, unrighteous people become righteous.
William Lecky, one of Britain's most notorious historians and a dedicated opponent of organized Christianity, writes: "It was reserved for Christianity to present to the world an ideal character which through all the changes of 18 centuries has inspired the hearts of men. with passionate love, has shown itself capable of acting in all ages, nations, temperaments, and conditions, has been not only the highest model of virtue, but the strongest incentive to its practice... The mere recording of these three short years of active life has done more to regenerate and soften mankind than all the disquisitions of the philosophers and all the exhortations of the moralists."
Historian Philip Schaff says: "How, in the name of logic, common sense, and experience, has an impostor - that is, a deceitful, selfish, and depraved man - invented, and consistently maintained from beginning to end, the more pure and noble character known in history with the most perfect air of truth and reality? How could he have conceived and successfully carried out a plan of beneficence, moral magnitude and sublimity without equal, and sacrificed his own life for it, in the face of the strongest prejudices of his people and time? "
If Jesus wanted people to follow him and believe in him as God, why did he go to the Jewish nation? Why go as a Nazarene carpenter to a country so small in size and population, and so deeply attached to the indivisible unity of God? Why did not he go to Egypt or, even more so, to Greece, where they believed in various gods and various manifestations of them?
Someone who lived as Jesus lived, taught as Jesus taught, and died as Jesus died could not have been a liar. Was He a lunatic? If it is inconceivable that Jesus is a liar, could he not have thought to himself that he was God, but that he was wrong? After all, it is possible to be honest and not have the truth.
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God bless you.
WHO IS JESUS?: GOD OR JUST A GOOD MAN?
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