Mar 7, 2010

Sunday Soaking - Jesus - Legend, Liar, Lunatic or Lord?

As we approach Easter, which for many is a wonderful time of celebration and reflection, I am looking a little closer at who Jesus really is. Join in the conversation! Take a moment and read through this series of scriptures, definitions and questions and wade in where ever you feel like you have a question or thought.

faith: (1) firm belief in something for which there is no proof; (2) complete trust;
(3) something that is believed especially with strong conviction

Do you believe the foundations of the Christian faith can be proved without a doubt? If you are a Christian, what percentage of your faith in God and the Christian faith comes from facts and what percentage comes from feelings? How important is it to have a balance? Why?

What is your assessment of the Bible? Is it a trustworthy historical document? If it could be demonstrated that the Bible is an extremely well preserved and factual historical document upon which historians and archaeologists rely, what weight would you give to the information it contains and implications for your life?

John 10:22-33 (NIV)
22 Then came the Feast of Dedication[a] at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade. 24 The Jews gathered around him, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."

25 Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are one."

31 Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?"

33 "We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."

According to the above passage, what did Jesus appear to believe about himself? What do you think his followers believed about him? What did the religious leaders of that time believe about him?

It is a matter of historical record that Jesus was later crucified and buried. The Bible records that this punishment was handed down, in part, for the charge of blasphemy – for His claim to be God. Did Jesus really believe he was God? If so, what conclusions can you draw about him? Was He telling the truth? C.S. Lewis famously proposed that Jesus was a legend, liar, lunatic, or the Lord God. Are there any other options? Would a sane, truthful, good person falsely claim to be God?

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

The above verse is a reason why many people are “turned off” by Christianity, why many feel Christians are “intolerant”. Do you think those feelings are justified? Why or why not? Do you feel that this verse reveals that Christ was offensive or exclusive? Why or why not?

If Jesus did claim to be God in human form, as the Bible states, can this assertion ever be proven to your satisfaction? Short of Jesus showing up in physical form, could there ever be enough evidence to convince someone of His true identity? Why or why not? Is it realistic to say His identity could ever be proven based on a preponderance of the evidence?

For me, through the evidence found in the Bible and other texts written during that time that mention Jesus and the "Christian movement", I feel that it would take MORE faith to believe something else. But that's just me. What do YOU think?

Just me, AJ

7 comments:

  1. The Bible is interesting because it makes no claim to be the direct word of God (unlike some religious texts, e.g. the Koran). Which means that, however much you do or don't believe in the sentiments, there is always an imperfect human hand in the writing. For example, the four gospel writers (and several other writers whose accounts have been relegated to 'apocrypha') give slightly different versions of events. This makes it rather difficult to unpick the different layers: what Jesus actually said and what the writers report that he said, before getting to your question of whether he spoke the truth. I would enjoy reading more of your thoughts... you've posed a lot of questions but I'm interested in your answers, too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love how the Bible has the same story from start to finish. Penned by many different "authors" the symmetry and same theme reveals, to me, that God is the main author. I think God is a personal God, and where facts are important, for me, seeing God work over and over in my life proves his exsistence to me. For someone else however, I know there are REALLY solid FACTS that prove the exsistence of God and Jesus. Great post! Following you from Trendy Treehouse. =)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Did you watch Calvary Chapel modesto online this morning? Because Damian's message was this exact verse John 14'6 and the cs lewis statement about who Jesus was! Weird!!!
    My answer is that He is the way the truth and the life and that no one can come to God without Jesus!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your blog is so beautiful! Thanks for stopping by my blog too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. So many ways I could comment on this post. Let me share what the Scripture says in 1 Peter 1:16-21

    We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased." We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.

    And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy[telling of; writing of] of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

    The Bible has no error. Jesus is the Son of God. If it's in the Bible I do my best to follow it. If it's not in the Bible, I do my best to shun it. Jesus is THE ONLY way to happiness, peace, salvation, eternal life. If others see that as narrow-minded or too literal, I'm sorry that you feel that way. I'm not the one who makes the rules, God is. I will do my best for as long as I have breath to glorify God and bring others to the saving knowledge of Christ.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I do believe that Jesus is the only way, however unpopular or offensive that may be. I have a very analytical mind. I have my degree in Zoology and worked in pharmaceutical research for years. I like data. I like facts. I like evidence. There is an overwhelming tide of evidence for Jesus being the messiah. To believe otherwise takes a HUGE leap of faith against a strong current.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have never been one to believe in anything when it comes to religion. I have lived a good part of my life feeling that things just happen and don't really have reason behind them, that is until I just recently found true love. It is a love so deep that I cannot even put it into words. The chances of me and her hooking up was a billion to one. It seems like there is a guiding force that has driven us to be together.

    Today, I can tell you that I am not so sure about my disbeliefs anymore!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment!
As with most blogs, we appreciate most comments, but please don't post anything mean or insulting (to the author or anyone else), thank you!!