Prophet... Lunatic... or Messiah...?
"I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by Me."
"I am the light of the world.
He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM."
(The name translated "I AM" in English Bibles is the name God used to introduce Himself to Moses in the Old Testament)
The statements above are just a few of the claims Jesus of Nazareth made concerning His eternally-existent Deity. I know . . . I know . . . Most people these days don't think of Jesus that way. It makes them uncomfortable.
They prefer to think of Him as "a good man", or "a prophet among many prophets" and some will even go so far as to say, "He certainly had God's hand on him!" But, they just can't or rather, won't acknowledge that He was the long-awaited promised Messiah, God incarnate.
Now . . . sit back . . . take a deep breath . . . try to put your preconceived notions aside . . . and just think about this for a moment.
- This man claimed to have lived 3000 years prior to the day He walked in Galilee!
- He claimed to have a direct connection to the Father that no one else had!
- And, He actually claimed to be GOD!
Stop and think about that for a moment. Would we really look at someone making those kinds of claims today and call him a "good man" or a "prophet"? That's absurd! Surely, anyone making those claims would be considered a candidate for a padded cell. We'd think he's either psychotic . . . or a sociopath . . . or a pathological liar . . . or a pretty decent actor!
But, who in their right mind would say of such a man today, "He's a good man," or "He's a great moral teacher," or "He's a Prophet sent by God"? Those are not labels or titles we use for liars, charlatans, or the hopelessly deranged!
In a nutshell, Jesus being merely a "good man" is logically impossible. Here's why: If He is not God, then He must have been a very accomplished liar or actor, deliberately misleading the multitudes; or He was a lunatic, sincerely believing Himself to be God, when He was really just a man. However, how can Jesus possibly be a "good man" and crazy, or a "good man" and a liar? Really, there is only one logically-consistent alternative: He was telling the truth. There are no other choices!
Something else for you to think about . . .
Did you know that Jesus fulfilled every Old Testament prophecy (more than 400) about the promised Messiah? In the Old Testament there are 160 major Messianic prophecies and approximately 270 minor related prophecies that were all fulfilled in (matched perfectly) the life of one Person, Jesus bar Joseph of Nazareth. Some of the best-known of these include:
Another interesting fact . . .
- He was born of a virgin in the town of Bethlehem, both of which were prophesied hundreds of years earlier;
- His precise lineage, both on His mother's and earthly father's side, qualified Him to be the Messiah;
- He was betrayed exactly as prophesied, even including the 30 pieces of silver used to pay His betrayer and what the silver was later used for;
- He was crucified exactly
as prophesied hundreds of years before anyone had any idea what crucifixion was;
- in accordance with the Mosaic Law and Messianic prophesy, none of Jesus' bones were broken, not even when the Roman soldiers decided to break the two criminals' legs to hasten their deaths; and
- He rose from the grave on the third day just as He Himself had prophesied!
One noted Statistician, Dr. Peter Stoner of Pasadena College, calculated that one person fulfilling only 8 (not 430!) prophecies by chance is 1 in 1017 that's one chance in 100,000,000,000,000,000!
They then took it further and calculated that one person fulfillig 48 prophecies almost one-tenth of all Messianic prophecies. The result: One man fulfilling 48 prophecies by chance is one chance in 10157 or 10 with 157 zeros!!)
But Jesus didn't fulfill a mere 8 or even 48 prophecies. No! He fulfilled more than 400! It is a statistical impossibility until . . . we consider the divine nature of the Man and His divine appointment!
Last, but not least . . .
Just as surely as He fulfilled all of the prophecies about His first coming, He will return as promised to receive all those who have put their faith in Him.
He wants to be your personal Savior. He wants to set you free from sin's penalty (which is death) and welcome you into His family. He wants to give you peace, freedom, real joy and eternal life.
Jesus once asked His disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" You now have to answer that same question . . . and then decide what you will do with Him!