Who does he think he is? He calls himself the Son of God. Really? Who talks like that? He says God gave him all authority in heaven and on earth, to raise the dead, to judge the world, to rule as King, to give eternal life to those who believe in him.
Readers of the four gospels in the New Testament are forced to come to the conclusion that Jesus of Nazareth made himself the center of his teaching. He brazenly claimed to be the only way for human beings to reach God.
Who does that? What kind of person would say as Jesus did, “No one can come to the Father except through me?” Religious propagandists and cultists maybe. Mentally unstable people with delusions of grandeur perhaps. But such egomaniacs are worthy only of our contempt, or pity.
Surely Jesus’ statements about himself seem to be supremely arrogant!
That is, unless they are true.
If Jesus’ statements about himself are true, that means he is more than a human teacher. If he is right, he is contradicting the idea that all faiths are valid pathways to God. If he is speaking truth, then he is not a dangerous religious shyster, or a pathetic, unbalanced narcissist.
If he is right, then the apostle Peter was correct when he preached, “There is salvation in no one else! There is no other name in all of heaven for people to call on to save them’ (Acts 4:12 NLT). If he is right, then he really is the Son of God who gave his life on the cross to save us from our sins.
The renowned Christian intellectual C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity, “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 either be a lunatic — on a level with a 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 patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
Read the New Testament and come to your own conclusion. Did Jesus speak with arrogance, or with divine authority?
Pastor Randy Faulkner