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Was Jesus a Good Man?

Posted by Daniel Edwards on April 3, 2009

Though I know this has been explained in better ways by such people as C.S. Lewis, I have been thinking about this some recently and I thought I would put in my two cents.

My thesis is simply this:there are few things more intellectually dishonest than the belief that Jesus was only a good man.

Now, let me point out that the key word to this whole idea is the word only. I wholeheartedly and without any reservation affirm that Jesus was the only perfect man to walk upon this earth because in the divine mystery of it all, He was both God and man. Though He was tempted in every way that we are, He never sinned- never thought, desired, did, or refused to do anything that was contrary to the will and glory of God (Hebrews 4:15). So, in no way am I saying that Jesus was not a good man. In fact, He was the best there ever was or will be.

But what astonishes me is that so many people say that Jesus was a good man, or a moral teacher and leave it there, as if that could measure up to reality. In fact, in our culture where we are trying to be increasingly tolerant of others views and where we seek to avoid offending people at all costs, we have sacrificed truth and thereby most in America would espouse this ludicrous idea.

Why is it ludicrous? If I believe that Jesus was a good man, why do I have a problem with people who believe that He was only good? Am I just making a bigger deal out of this thing than is responsible or appropriate? I don’t think so.

It really all boils down to this: Jesus did not give us the option of being thought of as a mere good moral teacher. He clearly believed that what He was saying was true, that He was the Son of God, and that He was the only way to God.

If He was not telling the truth in these instances, how could He be moral? A moral person does not lie or deceive in this nature. And if He believed that this was true, but it was not, then He was truly insane, for no sane person believes they are these things unless they are.

So this brings us to the three choices classically set out by C.S. Lewis in his famous book Mere Christianity. Lewis said that Jesus was either a “liar, lunatic, or lord”. He said it this way:

“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.”

If I believed that He was a lunatic or a liar, I would delete this blog right now, cancel all future plans and “eat, drink, and be merry,” for tomorrow I would definitely die. Life would be absolutely meaningless. But thankfully, I can say with full assurance and confidence that what Jesus said was and is true. He is the Son of God, the only way of salvation and life in this world and the Lord of my life.

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One Response to “Was Jesus a Good Man?”

  1. Mollie said

    “Liar, lunatic, or lord” is definitely one of the best arguments for Christ that I know!

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