by Joe McKeverThe Ultimate Blasphemy About Jesus
This fellow I know says Jesus was a good man, maybe the best ever to walk the earth, but nothing more. That is the ultimate insult. What appears to be a compliment turns out to be sheer blasphemy, for he is calling Jesus a liar. Good men and wonderful examples to follow do not go around talking the way Jesus did. Consider these three samples from the ministry of the Lord Jesus.
First: In the twelfth chapter of Matthew, Jesus says that He is greater than the Temple, holier than the Sabbath, superior to Jonah, and wiser than Solomon-and stronger than the devil on top of that! Those are pretty hefty claims-each enough to enrage the defenders of orthodoxy in His day. As you read the chapter, ask yourself how anyone could say Jesus never claimed to be God.
Second: Throughout the Gospel of John, the Lord Jesus said of Himself: "I am the Bread of Life," "I am the Light of the world," "I am the resurrection and the life," and "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except by Me." He claimed to be the door of salvation and to have lived before Abraham. No one in history ever held a higher Christology than Jesus Himself!
Third: Consider that the Apostle Paul would not let people bow before him, and that in Revelation, the Apostle John was rebuked twice for kneeling before an angel, and yet, the Lord Jesus let people worship Him. In the Gospels, Jesus was worshiped by the Magi, by a leper, by the disciples, and by the women and apostles after the resurrection. When Thomas saw the risen Jesus, he dropped to his knees and exclaimed, "My Lord and my God!" At no time did Jesus rebuke one of these. He received worship. What "good man" does that, pray tell?
Almost every contemporary writer who takes the position that Jesus claimed to be God ends up quoting C. S. Lewis from Mere Christianity: "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 a level with the man who says he is a poached egg-or He would be the devil of hell.
"You must make a choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."
In his book, Solving Bible Mysteries, Pastor D. James Kennedy tells of meeting a fellow who thought Jesus was just a man like everyone else. Kennedy said, "My friend, I have some astonishing news for you. According to the Bible and the historic Christian faith, Jesus of Nazareth not only was but is the infinite, eternal Creator of the universe-the almighty God." The man's eyes filled with tears and he said, "I have never heard that before, and yet I have always thought that is the way it ought to be, if Jesus is who He seems to be." Kennedy concludes: "The fact that Jesus Christ is God incarnate-God in human flesh-is the most basic, most important, most distinctive teaching of the Christian faith."
"Jesus is Lord." It's non-negotiable.
Joe McKeever pastors First Baptist Church of Kenner, Louisiana. Many readers will also recognize him as the cartoonist whose humorous insights on church life have graced the pages of Pulpit Helps for many years.