WHO IS JESUS?
Who, in your opinion, is…
- The most outstanding personality of all time?
- The greatest leader?
- The greatest teacher?
- Who has done the most good for mankind?
- Who lived the holiest life anyone has ever lived?
Visit any part of the world today. Talk to people of any religion. No matter how committed they are to their particular religion, if they know anything about history, they will have to admit that there has never been a man like Jesus of Nazareth. He is the most unique personality of all time.
Jesus changed the direction of history. Even the date on your morning newspaper testifies to the fact that Jesus of Nazareth lived on earth nearly 2,000 years ago. B.C. means “before Christ”; A.D. Anno Domini, “the year of our Lord”.
HIS COMING FORETOLD
Hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth, Scripture records the words of the prophets of Israel predicting His coming. The Old Testament, written by many people over a period of 1,500 years, contains more than 300 prophecies describing His coming. All of these details came true, including his miraculous birth, His sinless life, His many miracles, His death and His resurrection.
The life Jesus led, the miracles He did, the words He spoke, His death on the cross, His resurrection, His ascent to heaven – all point to the fact that He was not merely man, but more than man. Jesus claimed, “I and the Father are One” (John 10:30), “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9), and “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6).
HIS LIFE AND MESSAGE CAUSE CHANGE
Look at the life and influence of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, throughout history and you will see that He and His message always produce great changes in the lives of men and of nations. Wherever His teachings and influence have gone, the holiness of marriage, women’s rights and voice in society have been acknowledged; schools and universities of higher learning have been established; laws to protect children have been made; slavery has been abolished; and a multitude of other changes have been made for the good of mankind. Individual lives are also dramatically changed. For example, Lew Wallace, a famous general and literary genius, was a known atheist. For two years, Mr. Wallace studied the leading libraries of Europe and America, seeking information that would forever destroy Christianity. While writing the second chapter of a book he planned to write, he suddenly found himself on his knees crying out to Jesus, “My Lord and my God.”
Because of solid indisputable evidence, he could no longer deny that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. Later, Lew Wallace wrote the book Ben Hur, one of the greatest English novels ever written concerning the time of Christ.
Similarly, the late C.S. Lewis, professor at Oxford University in England, was an agnostic who denied the deity of Christ for years. But he, too, in intellectual honesty, submitted to Jesus as his God and Savior after studying the overwhelming evidence for His deity.
LORD, LIAR, OR LUNATIC?
In his famous book Mere Christianity, Lewis makes this statement, “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 the level with a man who says he is a poached egg – or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool 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.”
Who is Jesus of Nazareth to you? Your life on this earth and for all of eternity is affected by your answer to this question.
All other religions were founded by human beings and are based on man-made philosophies, rules and norms for behavior. Take the founders of these religions out of both their disciplines and practices of worship and little would change. But take Jesus Christ out of Christianity, and there would be nothing left. Biblical Christianity is not just a philosophy of life, nor an ethical standard or obedience to religious ritual. True Christianity is based on a vital, personal relationship with a risen, living Savior and Lord.