Christians believe that Jesus is God, many others recognize Jesus (historically) but do not recognize Jesus as God.
Well, without taking sides, I would just like to comment on who Jesus thought he was.
Both Christian and "secular" historians agree on who Jesus thought that he was. It is clear that Jesus made no doubt that he thought he was God.
First, in Matt. 14:22-33 & Mark 6:45-52, most English translations hide the Greek by quoting Jesus as saying, "Fear not, it is I." Actually, the Greek literally says, "Fear not, I am." Those last two words are identical to what Jesus said in John 8:58, when he took upon himself the divine name "I am," which is the way God revealed himself to Moses in the burning bush in Exodus 3:14.
Second, Jesus continually refered to himself as the "Son of man." Most people don't understand who the Son of man is. According to Daniel 7:13-14, Daniel is clear that the Son of man is given universal authority and dominion. The Son of man would come at the end of the world to judge mankind and rule forever. Jesus, applied this term to himself.
Third, Jesus claimed to forgive sins, and that is something only God can do. Jesus also accepted prayer and worship, again scripture is clear that only God is to be worshipped.
Fourth, look at Jesus' relationship with his disciples. Jesus has twelve disciples, yet notice that he's not one of the twelve. If the twelve represent a renewed Israel, where does Jesus fit in? He's not just part of Israel, not merely part of the redeemed group, he's forming the group--just as God in the Old Testament formed his people and set up the twelve tribes of Israel.
Fifth, Jesus makes truly radical statements that set aside huge portions of the Levitical law. When challenged by the Pharisees, Jesus responds by saying that God is doing a new thing. What kind of person thinks he has the authority to set aside the divinely inspired Jewish scriptures and supplant them with his own teaching ?
Sixth, look at how Jesus interprets his miracles. Jesus says, "if by the finger of God, I cast out demons, then you will know that the kingdom of God has come upon you." Jesus claims that his miracles are a sign indicating the coming of the kingdom of God. This is unprecedented, Jesus thinks that his miracles are bringing about the coming of God's dominion
Seventh, when Jesus begins his teachings he starts them with the phrase, "Amen I say to you," which is to say, "I swear in advance to the truthfulness of what I'm about to say." In Judaism you need the testimony of two witnesses, so witness A could witness the truth of witness B and vice versa. But Jesus witness to the truth of his own sayings. So here is someone who considered himself to have authority above and beyond what the Old Testament prophets had.
I could go on and on, about who Jesus thought he was. But that is not my point. Whether you are a Christian or not, whatever your opinion of who Jesus is...he thought he was God.
This leaves us with the question: was Jesus God, a liar, or was he suffering from delusions? You make the call. However, if not God, then let's quit talking about him as a "good teacher," or "prophet," or any other enamoring terms. Because anyone who would claim to be God, and is not, must be either quite evil, or crazy.
Submitted by Scott, USA
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