Sunday, January 9, 2011
Jesus Was Not A Great Teacher
There is an idea: "Jesus was a great moral teacher, but nothing more. He had his time, taught, gathered followers, then died."
If Jesus was only a human, only a "great moral teacher", then he was also an awful liar.
Jesus answered, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father is through me." - John 14:6
Jesus answered, "I told you already, but you did not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name show who I am. But you don't believe, because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never die, and no one can steal them out of my hand. My Father gave my sheep to me. He is greater than all, and no person can steal my sheep out of my Father's hand. The Father and I are one." - John 10:25-30
In the beginning there was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God... The Word became a human and lived among us. We saw his glory—the glory that belongs to the only Son of the Father—and he was full of grace and truth. - John 1:1,14 (obviously referencing Jesus)
Jesus answered, "I have been with you a long time now. Do you still not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. So why do you say, 'Show us the Father'? Don't you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I say to you don't come from me, but the Father lives in me and does his own work." - John 14:9-10
How can he be a great teacher whose teachings we hold in high esteem, yet at the same time be a liar of the worst kind? If he was not truly God, he would himself know this, and would yet choose to lead hundreds in his wake, knowing he was really giving them nothing?
You cannot accept Jesus' teachings without also accepting Who he said he was. There is no either/or.
He was either lying, insane, or telling the truth. Why would we respect the teachings of a blatant liar or a lunatic, who in one breath says "love your neighbor" and in the other lead many hundreds down a trail of lies about who he was and their eternal destiny?
But there is one more option. Jesus was telling the truth, and he was Christ, the Son of God, and yes, even God himself.
"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 up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to." - C.S. Lewis