Re: Sunday Dispatch
Jesus repeatedly told both His followers and those who didn’t believe in Him that He was not only fully human, but He was also God in human flesh. On one occasion, for example, He boldly declared, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
The question is, was he telling the truth?
Maybe Jesus lied when he said he was God. Perhaps he knew he was not God, but deliberately deceived his hearers. But there is a problem with this reasoning. Even those who deny his deity affirm that he was a great moral teacher. Jesus could hardly be a great moral teacher if, on the most crucial point of his teaching -- his identity -- he was a deliberate liar.
Another possibility is that Jesus was sincere but self-deceived. We have a name for a person today who thinks he is God. Mentally disabled. But as we look at the life of Christ, we see no evidence of the abnormality and imbalance we find in a mentally ill person. Rather, we find the greatest composure under pressure.
A third alternative is that his enthusiastic followers put words into his mouth he would have been shocked to hear. Were he to return, he would immediately repudiate them.
No, modern archeology verifies that four biographies of Christ were written within the lifetime of people who saw, heard and followed Jesus. These gospel accounts contained specific facts and descriptions confirmed by those who were eyewitnesses of Jesus. The early writing of the Gospels by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, is why they gained such circulation and impact, unlike the fictional Gnostic gospels which appeared centuries later.
Jesus was not a liar, or mentally disabled, or manufactured apart from historical reality. The only other alternative is that Jesus was being consciously truthful when he said he was God.
~ Paul Little