The Big Question 87: Was Jesus Just a Good Man?
Feb 22, 2022 115
Was Jesus just a good man?
Hardly anyone denies these days that Jesus existed. The evidence for the reality of Jesus is far too strong. However, one of the ways in which Jesus is marginalised in the minds of many is by the idea that Jesus was just a good man.
Well, actually, they’re partially right!
Jesus was a man.
He was certainly a good man.
However, he wasn’t just a good man.
You see, it just isn’t doesn’t make sense to think that Jesus was just a good man.
And here, I want to lean on what the English scholar C.S. Lewis famously wrote.
He said that to accept that Jesus was just a good man and a great teacher, and to not accept his claim to be God is just foolish.
If Jesus was merely a man and said the things that Jesus said, no one could say that he was a good man. A man who said the things Jesus said would either be a lunatic, an absolute crackpot, or else he would be the one of the worst liars ever.
You see, through what he said and what he did, Jesus constantly claimed to be God. He claimed that he had always existed, that he had the authority to forgive sin, and that he would be the judge of the world. He consistently claimed to be one with Jehovah God, taking the names and prerogatives of the God of Israel for himself.
Now, it’s OK to claim to be God is you really are God, but not if you are just a man. And if you were just a man and claimed to be God, you couldn’t rightly be called a good man, could you?
After all, a good man wouldn’t claim to be God because that would be a lie that would do great harm. A man who perpetuated a fraud on such a massive scale would be the greatest deceiver in history: hardly worthy of the description, “just a good man.” Yet the life and teachings of Jesus are hardly consistent with his being a bad man.
The other alternative that you are logically left with is that Jesus was stark, raving mad. We have it on record that none of those who knew him considered him to be mad. And his enemies crucified him, which isn’t what you do to someone who is mad.
So Jesus was either an exceptionally evil man, or one of the craziest people in history, both of which disqualify him from being able to be described as “just a good man.” And the evidence of his contemporaries tells us that Jesus was both sane and good. In fact, no single person has influenced our world and shaped our civilisation so profoundly for good as Jesus Christ.
Only one other option exists, and that is that Jesus was just who he claimed to be: God himself. And that’s my own conclusion.
I reckon that if you’re open-minded, you’ve got to think this through and consider it.