The Most Shocking Thing Ever Uttered

You’ve probably heard it said that the teachings of Jesus are great, even if people don’t believe him to be God as Christians do. His teachings like: “love your enemy”, “love your neighbour as yourself”, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for each day has enough trouble of its own” are recognized by almost everyone as being, as the young ones may say: super dope – or maybe it’s super dank now; I don’t know.

Recently, I have been involved in a thing called a GIG (Group Investigating God). For the first study we look at Matthew 6:25-34, a section recording part of Jesus’ most famous teachings. One girl was absolutely stoked, “I didn’t know this was in the bible!” Jesus beat us to the punch regarding mental health, people.

But Jesus said and claimed a lot more than that. One striking thing, of many striking things, is He claimed to forgive sins.

Now, that doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. We can forgive each other can’t we? Well, yes. If I up and punched you in the face for no reason, you could forgive me. I wronged you. But imagine, for one moment if you will, that I punched you in the face for no reason and then a stranger came up and forgave me for punching you in the face. That’s odd isn’t it? Nothing wrong was done against that guy. How can he forgive me for that? It would probably even be offensive to you. You were the one punched in the face! Someone who went around doing that would be quite odd, to say the least. C.S. Lewis even said, “Asinine fatuity is the kindest description we should give of his conduct.”

Jesus basically does that on multiple occasions. One example is Luke 5:17-26. There it records a story of Jesus healing and forgiving sins. The religious leaders of the day recognized something about that. They said, recorded in verse 21, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Only God can forgive sins like this; and the Jews knew it. Why? Because ultimately every sin, like punching you in the face randomly, is not only a sin against you, but a sin against God. Because I would be wronging God, He has the right to forgive me for that wronging.

And Jesus did and claimed tons of things, besides claiming the authority to forgive sins, that are claims to be God. C.S. Lewis recognized this and said:

Among these Jews there suddenly turns up a man who goes about talking as if He was God. He claims to forgive sins. He says He has always existed. He says He is coming to judge the world at the end of time. Now let us get this clear. Among Pantheists, like the Indians, anyone might say that he was a part of God, or one with God: there would be nothing very odd about it. But this man, since He was a Jew, could not mean that kind of God. God, in their language, meant the Being outside of the world, who had made it and was infinitely different from anything else. And when you have grasped that, you will see that what this man said was, quite simply, the most shocking thing that has ever been uttered by human lips.

When we comprehend the weight of who Jesus said He was, we are left with only a few choices, my friends. Jesus was a great teacher, yet he claimed to be God. What do we do with that? C.S. Lewis, again, puts it nicely:

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.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would be 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. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. 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 with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

Liar, Lunatic, or Lord. This is the great trichotomy Christ has left us. Those are your choices with this Jesus guy; just a great moral teacher is not available.

Yet, most of us would still agree his teachings are super dope (dank?). Most of us think (correctly), even if you don’t think him God, that he is the single greatest and most influential person to have ever walked this earth. This backwoods rabbi from out of nowhere somehow shaped our moral landscape more than any other teacher in history. “Love your enemies” is profoundly good.

Yet, He claimed to be God. Asinine fatuity, indeed.

That causes us some trouble, friends. But, we can present a nice little argument in the logical form of modus tollens as follows:

Given what Jesus claimed and taught about Himself;

  1. If Jesus is not God then He cannot be good.
  2. Jesus is good.
  3. Therefore, Jesus is God.

Jesus claimed to be God, my friends. That’s why he was killed; he was crucified for blasphemy. That does not allow for him to be just a great moral teacher. Liar, Lunatic, or Lord. If you’re willing to call him good, you only have one option. Everyone must wrestle with the Good Teacher.

Keep pondering,

Aaron

*All C.S. Lewis quotes from Mere Christianity

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “The Most Shocking Thing Ever Uttered

  1. You insinuate all Christians believe Jesus to be God, but real Christians never would believe such a thing. Real Christians are the ones following the Jewish rabbi Jeshua, Jesus Christ, and having the same God to worship as he did, namely the Only One true God of Israel, the God of Abraham Who is One and not three.

    Jesus never claimed to be God. He very well knew that God was his omniscient Father, Who is the Most High Eternal Spirit. Jesus was born, seen by many (nobody can see God and live), had to learn everything (God knows everything), was more than once tempted (God cannot be tempted), was spit on and cursed by man (man can do God nothing), really died when put to death at the stake (God cannot die), and was taken out of the death (an example to what can happen to us and would be of o value if Jesus would be God). First lower than angels (God was is and always shall be the Most Highest) he was made higher by God to be the high priest before God and to be the mediator between God and man (when Jesus is God he cannot be a mediator between himself and man).

    Like

  2. You say

    If Jesus is not God then He cannot be good.
    Jesus is good.
    Therefore, Jesus is God.

    by this you declare that no man can be good and that God created human beings who never could be good, so He created man who could never be good and gave them rules He knew they would never be able to keep? What a cruel god!

    You also implicate that in case a human being would be good he must be God. Either you say there exist no good human being (?!?!?) or we must have many gods walking on this earth.

    Like

    1. First, thank you for your comments Marcus! You are the first to leave constructive criticism on this blog and I appreciate your readership and interest!

      My syllogism must be seen in light of the background information provided. i.e. I stated “Given what Jesus claimed and taught about himself.” In light of this, I have not declared what you claim I have declared. I fail to see in my post where I made claims like “no man can be good” or “could never be good”, etc. or that I implicate if “a human being [is] good he must be God.”

      Alternatively, I could have construed an argument as follows:

      1. Jesus is either a liar, lunatic, or is Lord
      2. Jesus is not a liar or lunatic
      3. Therefore, Jesus is Lord.

      I felt there were advantages of my original argument; although I was aware of the possible miscommunication that, unfortunately, has in fact taken place.

      However, even my second syllogism must be seen in light of the background information of Jesus’ radical claims about Himself. I have never claimed *anyone* is either a liar, lunatic, or Lord, but that *Jesus* is either a liar, lunatic, or Lord. Similarly, I have not claimed that if *anyone* is not God, they cannot be good, but that if *Jesus* is not God, He cannot be good. He claimed to be God. If I made that claim I’m sure someone would be happy to apply the arguments to me; denying the second premises.

      Now, one could undercut the argument by suggesting Jesus never made such radical claims about Himself, as you have asserted. However, I provided one example in the post which the Pharisees and religious leaders recognized were claims to divinity. So we have at least one example contradicting your claim that “Jesus never claimed to be God.”

      Regarding your later objections that I think can accurately be described as objections to the Trinity, I will commend you to some of the Q&A’s from Dr. Bill Craig’s website on the subject, as I found them to be insightful yet accessible:

      http://www.reasonablefaith.org/muslim-objections-to-jesus-deity
      http://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-mind-boggling-trinity
      http://www.reasonablefaith.org/subordination-of-god-the-son-to-the-father
      http://www.reasonablefaith.org/questions-from-a-muslim-about-the-trinity
      http://www.reasonablefaith.org/trinity-and-incarnation
      http://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-death-of-god-and-the-death-of-christ
      http://www.reasonablefaith.org/is-trinity-monotheism-orthodox
      http://www.reasonablefaith.org/love-and-justice-in-the-trinity
      http://www.reasonablefaith.org/why-god-the-father-and-god-the-son

      For the fun of it, I will mention one other thing. By “good” I mean a colloquial sense of the word, in which I would be happy to claim that any random person could possibly be called (unless they believed they were God). However, in a richly theological definition of “good”, perhaps closer to “righteous,” I would be willing to say that no one can be good on their own merit but God alone. But all that is just a fun aside.

      Happy pondering! 🙂

      Like

      1. Your alternative mention “Jesus is either a liar, lunatic, or is Lord” could be one many could bring up because according to Scriptures God is Omniscient, which means God is alll knowing and by you claiming Jesus to be God, you make Jesus into a liar, because Jesus himself said that God is higher than him, and confessed that he did not know who would be seated next to him nor when he would return. He also said such things where up to God to know, but when he is God he should know them and when he would not be lying he should have told the apostles who would be seated next to him and when he would be returning, something we normally could think a person would already know from himself when he would do what when he himself can decide such a thing? But it is not Jesus who can decide such thing; It is up to God, Who has made Jesus higher than angels (though he was lower first, but God always stays the Most Highest).

        You write “He claimed to be God.”, but where do you get such thing from? Never claimed Jesus to be God. He was even clear that he knew that God is higher than him and that we should only worship his heavenly Father the Only One True God, the god of Israel and God of Abraham, who was and is Jesus his God and should be ours as well.

        I shall take some time to read what Dr. Bill Graig has to say about God and Trinity, but do know we should first of all listen to the Holy Scriptures, the Bible, the infallible Word of God, in Which God clearly tells the world that there is only One true God Who is One, and that He gave the world His sent one or His only begotten son to end the curse of death.

        Like

      2. Many of your objections are dealt with in the above links. There it is argued that the claims you have made do not pose a challenge to Jesus’ Godship.

        Furthermore, Jesus did claim to be God. I gave an example in the post. He claimed to forgive sins in such an authoritative way that was, and is, known to be held by God alone. Perhaps He didn’t use the exact words, “I am God,” but He need not. Scriptures never use the term “God is omniscient” or “God is omnipresent” either. They are terms created by us to summarize and describe the totality of the scriptural data. Setting an exact words criterion is unreasonable. Jesus’ claims necessitate His divinity. Similarly, we look at the scriptural data regarding Jesus’ claims about Himself, see that He made claims to divinity, see that the New Testament teachings claim Him to be God, as well as see that many of His other claims are not in contrast to Old Testament claims about God (see links), and conclude that Jesus believed, and Scripture attests to, Himself being God.

        I would absolutely agree that we should first of all listen to Scriptures. Dr. Craig faithfully portrays what Scripture says: that Jesus is God. I would also highly recommend his more thorough, published works. Moreover, I would add another link of his work, which provides a series of lectures he taught (that are also podcasts) below:

        http://www.reasonablefaith.org/defenders-1-podcast/s11

        Happy Pondering!

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s