This question is a very important one in light of how all other religions see Jesus. Let’s think about this though. Is it possible that Jesus really is Lord, or was he just another liar, lunatic, or legend?

People have long researched, debated, and argued in attempt to disprove the Jesus is who Christians belief he said he was. So let’s look at each one of these four possibilities starting with the ones that would make the Bible false.

But all these other religions try to point out that Jesus was not what the Bible says:

  • Hindus believe Jesus was a great and Holy Man, a good a teacher, and maybe one of the 330,000,000 avatars or incarnations of Brahman (their version of an impersonal force that is in the universe)
  • Buddhists believe that Jesus was an enlightened man, which is a high view. They believe He had all the positive values that any man could possess. But He was not God
  • Muslims believe Jesus was one of 124,000 prophets that God has raised up through the years. He was sinless, blessed, and born of a virgin. But He was not God. To say that He is God, is an unforgivable sin called ‘;Shirk.’
  • Mormons believe that Jesus was not the son of God, but a son of God. In the Pearl of Great Price, even Satan himself is referred to as a Son of God and a brother of Jesus, equal with Him in nature. Mormons also believe that Jesus came about by a sexual relationship between the Mormon God of Elohim and the Virgin Mary in the first century.
  • New Agers believe that Jesus was a great teacher that came to realize that He was God, just like all of us can realize that we are God as well.
  • Christian Scientists believe that Jesus was not God, but a man who presented to us the true idea of God.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus is a physical manifestation of Michael the archangel. They are willing to give him the title of God, but only with a small ‘;g’.

Liar

No matter what religion you come in contact with, none of them will have a negative view of Jesus. For example, Muslims believe he was one of 124,000 prophets that God has raised up through the years. He was sinless, blessed, and some even believe born of a virgin. But he was not God. To say that he is God, is to commit the unforgivable sin called ‘shirk.’ Buddhists believe that Jesus was an enlightened man, which is quite a high view. They also believe he had all the positive values that any man could possess. But he was not God.

In every religion outside of Christianity, if Jesus really spoke the words written in the Bible - which is also where many of these religions get their information about Jesus - then he is also a liar. If he was a liar then he could not be the good man that every other religion believes him to be.

To put it simply, since Christ claimed to be God, he either was God or a liar, but he can not be both good and bad. That would be contrary to the laws of logic.

Most people in the world are unable to honestly say that Jesus was a bad man, but they fail to realize that to say that he was a good man but not God is essentially the same as calling Him a liar; especially because the whole reason Jesus was crucified was because he claimed to be God.

Following are some additional reasons why Jesus cannot be a liar:

  1. He fits the wrong psychological profile. He is unselfish, caring, loving, compassionate, and passionate about leading others to truth. Liars lie for selfish reasons like money, fame, pleasure, and power. If Jesus lied, then he lied so that he would be executed.
  2. He had no motive for his lie. Over the span of his ministry, his claims brought Him hatred, rejection, persecution, torture and finally death.
  3. There was no hope his lie would be successful in the region he was preaching it. The Jews were the least likely people to worship a man, and Jesus, being a Jew, knew this. He knew for a fact, that saying the words he spoke would get him executed.

To sum it up, Jesus could not have been a liar. He would have fit the wrong psychological profile, he had to no motive, and he had no hope that he would be successful.

Lunatic

Based off of how several world religions define Jesus, it should be pretty safe to say that there are two things that pretty much everyone believes about his character. That he is wise and that he is Good. Now, a lunatic is the complete opposite of a wise man and a liar is the complete opposite of a good man. Since we have already dealt with Jesus being good and not a liar, let’s move on to discover whether he was wise or just some lunatic.

The divinity complex is a recognized form of psychopathology. Its character traits consist of the following: egotism, narcissism, inflexibility, dullness, predictability, inability to understand, love and creatively relate to others as they really are.

This is in stark contrast to the Jesus of the Bible who has the three virtues every person wants. Wisdom, love and creativity. He saw into people’s hearts, answered life’s unanswerable questions, and gave totally to others, including his life. He was creative, interesting, unpredictable and no one, believer or non-believer was ever bored by him.

If Jesus Christ is a lunatic, then lunacy is more desirable than sanity.

Following are some additional reasons why Jesus cannot be a lunatic:

  1. The psychological profile doesn’t match up. A lunatic lacks the very qualities that were dominant in Jesus. Wisdom, love, and creativity.
  2. Jesus made other people feel challenged, uncomfortable, and never bored. He had a way of making his critics feel inferior to him. A lunatic is the one who is most often looked at as inferior to their critics. A lunatic resembles darkness, Jesus resembles light.
  3. No Jew could mistakingly yet sincerely believe he was God. No other group of people at that time was less likely to do so.

Legend

Many people in the twentieth century have fallen victim to the theory that the story of Jesus is nothing more than a myth or legend, to be likened to Hercules and Zeus. But let’s go straight to the reasons why this cannot be the case.

  1. There is no evidence at all of anyone ever pointing out that Jesus’ divinity was a myth or fairy tale. Those who state that it is all mythology need to claim that the New Testament texts were written after 150 AD, which would be long enough after the deaths of the eyewitnesses that a legend could actually take hold. But no accomplished scholar denies the first century dating of the New Testament.
  2. There is no evidence to date, in or outside of the Bible, of a mythical layer that was later added into the New Testament which would render Christ as a mere legend.
  3. Until the Edict of Milan in 313 AD, Christians were subject to persecution, often tortured, martyred, hated and oppressed for their beliefs. No one invents a mythical, elaborate practical joke in order to be crucified, stoned, or beheaded. If the originators of the myth didn’t know they would be persecuted and tortured for their myth, they would certainly have given it up the moment that they were.

In addition, 2 Peter 1:16 says that “we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”

Conclusion

I think that C. S. Lewis summed it up best in his book Mere Christianity when he said the following about whether or not Jesus is who he said he is:

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 a level with the man who says he is a poached egg-or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

resources:
  1. C. S. Lewis,"Mere Christianity," The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics (New York: HarperOne, 2007), 50-51

categories: apologetics, jesus