|In his famous book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis makes this statement, "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 the level
with a man who says he is a poached egg--or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and
is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool or you can fall at his feet and call
him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not
left that open to us.(emphasis: web author)"
Jesus could only have been one of four things: a legend, a liar, a lunatic--or Lord and God. There is so much historical and archeological evidence to support his existence that every reputable historian agrees he
was not just a legend. If he were a liar, why would he die for his claim, when he could easily have avoided such a cruel death with a few choice
words? And, if he were a lunatic, how did he engage in intelligent debates with his opponents or handle the stress of his
betrayal and crucifixion while continuing to show a deep love for his antagonists? He said he was Lord and God. The evidence
supports that claim.
Here are some of the key claims Jesus made about himself.
THE CLAIMS OF JESUS
He claimed to live a sinless life
Jesus could look at a crowd of people angry at his claims to share
God's nature and ask, "Which of you can point to anything wrong in my life?" Even more amazing is that none of them could
give a reply! No human being has ever lived a sinless life, except for Jesus.
John 8:28-29 "So Jesus said, 'When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know who I am and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent
me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.'"
John 8:46-47 "Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling
the truth, why don't you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do
not belong to God."
He claimed to be the ONLY way to God
Not one of several ways, but the one and only way. Not to
teach the way, but to be the way to God. Nobody has ever made claims like that before and backed them, but Jesus did
through his love, balanced life, and miracles.
John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to
the Father but by me."
Matthew 11:27 "All things have been committed to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal
Note: No other world religious leader, such as Buddha, Confucius, or Mohammed ever made this claim.
He claimed to have shared the glory of God in Heaven
Jesus claimed to have pre-existed the people he spoke with. The
apostle John--who shared bread with Jesus--wrote that Jesus was with God in the very beginning, and that "all things came
into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being." (John 1:1-5)
John 17:5 "And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the
glory I had with you before the world began."
This is a claim distorted by groups like the Mormons or Jehovah's
He claimed to be able to forgive sins
One of the reasons that the Jewish leaders were so angry with Jesus
was his continual practice of forgiving people's sins. The religious leaders understood clearly that since sins were rebellion
against God Himself, only God could forgive sins.
Luke 5:20-21 "When Jesus saw their faith, he said, 'Friend, your
sins are forgiven.' The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, 'Who is this fellow who speaks
blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?'"(emphasis: web author)
Luke 7:48-49 "Then Jesus said to her, 'Your sins are forgiven.'
The other guests began to say among themselves, 'Who is this who even forgives sins?'"
He claimed to be a Heavenly king
Luke 22:69 "But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the
right hand of the mighty God."
Luke 23:1-3 "Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate.
And they began to accuse him, saying, 'We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar
and claims to be Christ, a king.' So Pilate asked Jesus, 'Are you the king of the Jews?' 'Yes, it is as you say,' Jesus replied."
John 18:36-37 "Jesus said, 'My kingdom is not of this world. If
it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.' 'You are a king,
then!' said Pilate. Jesus answered, 'You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this
I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.'"
He claimed to be able to give everlasting life
He didn't just tell people how they could find everlasting life,
or deepen their own life experience. He actually claimed to give life himself.
John 6:40 "For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the
Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."
John 6:47 "I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting
John 10:28-30 "I give [my followers] eternal life, and they shall
never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can
snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one."
John 11:25 "Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life.
He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die...'"
He claimed that he would die and come back to life
John 10:17 "Just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and
I lay down my life for the sheep. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life--only to take it up again. No one
takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This
command I received from my Father."
John 12:32-33 "'But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will
draw all men to myself.' He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die."
John 16:16 "In a little while you will see me no more, and then
after a little while you will see me."
Luke 18:31-33 "Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, 'We are
going up into Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be
handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will
He claimed that he would return again to judge the world
Matthew 24:27-30 "So as the lightening comes from the east and flashes
to the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man... At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and
all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great
Matthew 25:31-32 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all
the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will
separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep and the goats."
Mark 14:61-62 "Again the high priest asked him, 'Are you the Christ,
the Son of the Blessed One?' 'I am,' said Jesus. 'And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty
One and coming on the clouds of heaven.'"
Jesus clearly claimed to be both God and Messiah.