History’s greatest character was not a good man. It is simply not an option. Jesus could not be a good man, because he claimed to be Almighty God. That’s a pretty big claim, and this assertion carries big repercussions with it. So did Jesus really claim to be God? Let’s see…
Who is Elohim (God)? Genesis 2:4 identifies the Creator God as Yahweh. In verse 7 and 22 of the same chapter, Yahweh created the first man and woman respectively along with the rest of creation. Yahweh is the Creator
Moses writes of his first encounter with God Almighty in Exodus 3. When at the burning bush, Moses asks the Almighty how the Israelites will know that Moses speaks on God’s authority, God replies, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you…Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors–has sent me to you.”
So, we’ve got a pretty good picture of who God is through the words of Moses. Moving forward 1500 years to Jesus’ claims in John 8:58, we read, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” The Jews knew that Jesus was identifying himself as the Creator God, and “they picked up stones to stone him.” Jesus didn’t just claim to be a prophet or rabbi or just a good man with good teachings. He claimed to be the same Elohim, who 1) created Adam and Eve, 2) made a covenant with Abraham, and 3) spoke to Moses.
So the claim is there, and now there are only three options for us today.
- We can believe that Jesus claims are true. He is the Creator God.
- We can believe that Jesus lied. Jesus knew he was not the Creator God, but he wanted other to believe it.
- We can believe that Jesus was loony. Jesus only thought he was the Creator God.
Jesus was NOT just a good man. He was and is the Creator God. He was either a liar or a lunatic, which would have made him unqualified as a good man…or he was the Creator God. Don’t get me wrong about his human form. He lived this earthly life as a man, and as a man he lived in perfect harmony with the Father. And as a man, he died the most cruel death in history. Living as a man was the only way that he could have served as a kinsman redeemer for mankind.
In the end, he validated his claim as the Creator God by coming back to life after being crucified. He fulfilled hundreds of old testament prophesies about his existence and life. He lived before Abraham, and he lives today in the lives of who invite him into their lives. Those who believe option one (John 3:16), who repent of their sin (2 Peter 3:9), and invite Jesus to be Lord of their life (Romans 10:9-10) will be saved from eternal death.