Was Jesus the Son of God?
This becomes the most important question in the world.
If Christ is Divine, then we must believe everything he said and commanded. The true meaning of freedom becomes conformity to him.
Jesus called himself the “Son of God” which is the same nature as God. Jesus called God his Father. “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). In contrast, people like Buddha said he was not God, “Look not to me; look to my dharma (doctrine)”. Buddha, Confucius, Muhammad, and other religious founders performed no miracles and did not rise from the dead. Buddhists do not believe Buddha was God nor do Muslims believe Muhammad was God. Christians believe Jesus Christ is God.
Arguments for Christ’s Divinity
If Jesus is not God, then what is he?
Lord or liar?
If he is not God then he is a bad man, but few would agree that he was a bad man. He also was not merely a good man if he claimed to Be God. Everyone who reads the Gospels agrees that Jesus was a good, wise, and a great and profound teacher. He was trustworthy. Why would someone believe he is God?
- If the Gospel is a lie, then who invented the lie? A liar is motivated. Martyrdom (death because you believe) is hardly a motivation.
- Why did thousands of people suffer torture and death for this lie if they knew in their hearts it was a lie?
- What force sent Christians to the lions? What lie ever transformed the world like this?
St. Aquinas argues if the Incarnation (God becomes flesh) did not happen then a more unbelievable miracle happened: the conversation of the world by the biggest lie in history.
Lord or lunatic?
Could Jesus be a lunatic? His psychological profiles are the opposite of a lunatic. He had practical wisdom and tough love. You do not feel challenged by a lunatic, only embarrassed, or bore. Jesus made you feel challenged and never bored. Could the disciples have been lunatics? If so these everyday fishermen and tax collectors invented the most compelling fictional charters in history. No lunatic could have invented even a single chapter of the Gospel much less all of it. How could a lunatic have changed the lives of billions of people over the last two thousand years? What would have been the motivation of such a lunatic? Death?
Lord or myth?
Could Jesus be nothing more than an overblown superhero? No! The data make the myth hypothesis impossible.
- No book in history has been so attacked, cut up, or reconstituted and stood on its head as the New Testament. Yet it still lives, like Christ himself.
- We have five hundred different copies of the Bible earlier than 500 AD. More than any other historical book. If the New Testament did not contain accounts of miracles or make radical uncomfortable claims, it would be as accepted as any other historical book of its time. It is not objective neutral science that fuels its skeptics’ but subjective prejudice ideology. There are very few discrepancies and no important ones. Later manuscript discoveries such as the Dead Sea Scrolls confirm rather than refute it in every important case.
- If it were a myth, many generations would have had to past before the myth could have been generated. No competent scholar today denies the first-century dating of all the New Testament.
- If a mythic layer had been added later in other generations, there would be evidence of the manufactured mythical layers. No such evidence exists.
- There are four Gospels. Written by four different authors at four separate times. The only inconsistencies are in chronology (only Luke’s Gospel claims to be in order) and accidental like numbers (did the women see one or two angels).
- If it was a myth, who invented it? No motive can be accounted for this invention. Christians were subject to persecution torture and martyred for more than the first three hundred years.
Lord or guru?
One last escape hatch would be that Jesus was not a liar, a lunatic, or a myth, but that he did not mean it when he said he was God. He meant it in only a mystical way. There are thousands of gurus, yogis,” spiritual masters”, “enlightened consciousness” mystics who claim to be a God but are neither liars nor lunatics. Why couldn’t Jesus be one?
For one simple reason: because he was a Jew. No guru was ever a Jew. There are major differences or contradictions between Judaism and the teaching of the gurus Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, or New Age. Rather than to go into it here there are very many differences between what gurus teach and what Judaism and Christianity teach.
We have shown the inherent flaws in the above four arguments. The only conclusion remaining is Jesus is Lord.
Not only was Jesus Divine but click here to learn how the resurrection is of critical importance because it completes our salvation. Jesus came to save us from our sin and its consequences, death.
Source: Some excerpts from Handbook of Christian Apologetics Peter Kreeft & Ronald Tracelli