Jesus was a Good Teacher ….Nothing More
Many times seekers, skeptics will accept that Jesus was a “Good Teacher”, but they won’t accept that he was God as he claimed.
Why is it important that we reject this description alone?
Who we believe Jesus is determines how we respond to him, receive from him, and if we are accepted by God through him.
What did others say?
Mark 1:9-11 = “And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” – God, the Father
Matthew 1:18-25 = “for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost”; “thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins” – Gabriel, the angelic messenger
Luke 4:1-13 = “And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.” – the devil
John 1:29-31 = “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” – John the Baptist
Matthew 16:16-17 = “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” – Simon Peter
What did Jesus say about Himself?
Mark 14: 61-62 = “But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”
Matthew 28:18-20 = “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”
Matthew 26: 53-54 = “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?”
John 10:30-31 = “I and my Father are one.”
John 8:58 = “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”
Mark 15:2 = “And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto them, Thou sayest it.”
Non-Biblical Historical Evidence of Jesus
We must remember that unlike 2014, the life of Jesus Christ was not “Breaking news”. So, there are not a lot of detailed, non-biblical references to him surviving
Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence!
Those who are skeptical of the historicity of Jesus of the Gospels on the grounds that there are so few early non-Christian references to Him, must …be even more skeptical as to whether the Christian church existed in the first century* (and we have tons of historical evidence of the early church).
So, the modern historian must seek non-Christian evidence for Jesus the same way he does for every other person of antiquity who was considered insignificant by the authorities of his day. He must analyze the credibility of secondhand reports.* When you compare them with the biblical accounts we find that there is about as much evidence for Jesus as for figures of history that are not doubted.
*Cornelius Tacitus = A Roman historian, A.D. 112, Governor of Asia, son-in-law of Julius Agricola, who was Governor of Britain A.D. 80-84
– When writing of the reign of Nero, Tacitus alludes to the death of Christ and the existence of Christians at Rome.
– “Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate,”
*Lucian of Samosata = A satirist of the second century, who spoke scornfully of Christ and the Christians. He connected them with the synagogues of Palestine and alluded to Christ as “the man who was crucified in Palestine because He introduced this new cult into the world”
*Flavius Josephus = A Jewish historian, became a Pharisee at age 19; in A.D. 66 he was the commander of Jewish forces in Galilee. After being captured, he was attached to the Roman headquarters.
– “Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call Him a man, for He was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure.”
– “He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, has condemned Him to the cross, …He appeared to them alive again in the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold…”
Miracles and Works of Jesus on Earth?
Matthew 14:22-23 = Walked on water
Matthew 8:14-17 = Healed Peter’s mother-in-law of fever
John 2:1-11 = Turned water to wine
Mark 6:30-44 = Feeding the 5,000
Luke 7:11-17 = Raised the dead son of the widow of Nain
Luke 5:17-26 = Forgave the paralytic lowered through the roof
So, was Jesus a Good Teacher ….Nothing More?
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’…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 a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice…..let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”*- C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Jesus is God!
“Can you be Christian and Gay? Can Christians support Same-Sex Marriage?”
Did Jesus say anything about Homosexuality?
Are Christians being unloving by barring gay people from leadership positions in Church?
Is homosexuality a sin?