I’ve heard others lump Jesus into ‘one of the great teachers’ of all time and that’s just not possible. Jesus consistently made some pretty outrageous claims that made it clear who he thought he was. Throughout his ministry, he boldly stated who he was, which is one part of the trinity, the Son of God. Jesus explained the intimate relationship he has with the Father God on and off throughout the gospels and what is always impressed upon me is how the Son reflects the Father and vice versa. My insides quake a little and I’m awe-struck. My point is, though, is that he can’t be regarded as a great teacher and then ignore the parts where he claimed he was the Son of God. He’d have to be a crazy maniac to make such a claim if it weren’t true, and then everything else he said would have to be doubted, too.
Because if Jesus was right about who He was and was of sound mind, it’s a game-changer.
He can’t be a great teacher and the Son of God and a maniac. Each and every one of us has to make a choice when we come face-to-face with Jesus.
There’s enough evidence one way or the other to prove or disprove who Jesus was, and it comes down to your own brushes up with the spiritual.
And I can only speak from experience. There is no way I can deny Jesus’ sovereignty. Often there are no words to describe the depth of God’s love that has reached into my heart and mind, because of Jesus.
In my darkness, I’ve had my soul lit up.
In my parched thoughts and emotions, I’ve tasted the life-giving water.
In my uncertainty and chaos, I’ve felt the iron-grip of love hanging onto me.
In my wanderings and search for meaning in all the wrong things, I’ve known the grace that patiently waits for me.
In my struggles, I’ve experienced the healing of the greatest Counselor of all time.
I can’t do these things on my own. I’ve tried. No one else can offer these gifts to me. I’ve searched. God and God alone, through the love of Jesus on that cross, found a way to cross my soul’s barrier of darkness.
I’m no more, or less, deserving than you, either. All sin and wrong-doing and selfish acts turn us away from God. All of them! One is not worse than the other. He can’t tolerate it, as He is pure and holy and good through and through; but the author of Love made a plan and carried it out to save us in order to rescue us back to himself.
“For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world,
but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.”
– Jesus’ words (italics mine) from John 3:17 (AMP)
If Jesus is who he says he is, and truly is the Son of God, there’s no place you can go to run away from that. You can try for a while, but we all come face to face with a decision at different points in our life. It means you are never beyond his reach, either, no matter where you’re at.
“If I climb upward on the rays of the morning sun or land on the most distant shore of the sea where the sun sets,
even there your hand would guide me and our right hand would hold on to me.”
– Psalm 139:9 (GW)
There is nothing that you’ve done, are doing, or will ever do that can negate what Jesus did on the cross. From the cross and after his victory over death, Jesus never once made exceptions to his grace. From the moment of belief, the thief on the cross next to Jesus, received God’s grace through no work of his own (Luke 23:32-43).
“Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion
would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God?
I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace.
If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.”
-Paul’s words (italics mine) from Galatians 2:21 (MSG)
It would’ve been unnecessary for Jesus to go to the cross if we could ‘make it on our own’ to God. It would’ve been unnecessary for Jesus to die for us if we were just so ugly, far-gone and lost in our darkness that there was no hope. There is nothing we can do to earn God’s grace and there is nothing we can do to ‘break’ it. It’s never-ending flow comes from a self-sufficient source. During Jesus’ ministry he continually sought out the broken, the sick, the ‘dirty’ ones of society. In my own life, I’ve repeatedly made bad choices that took me away from God and repeatedly God sought me out and rescued me.
Well, there is one thing that does come down to you.
The best kind of love is one where there is no force or coercion. God didn’t make us to be robots. It does come down to one choice that you make.
Is Jesus a great teacher?
Is he a maniac?
Or is he the Son of God?