So you decide, (check out yesterdays post) was Jesus sane or did he have the marks of insanity? The religious leaders who had been following him rejected insanity for a different more spiritual response. If Jesus was insane it really wouldn’t be his fault, but if the Pharisees were right, everything would come down on the neck of Jesus as a servant of…
Satan- (Mark 3:22) 22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub! (literally the Lord of the Flies) By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”The fastest way to discount Jesus Messianic Ministry was to claim he was actually working for the enemy of all, Satan. We hear this in politics today, the quickest way to denigrate or breakdown your opponent is to compare them to Nazis or to Hitler, because very few find that complimentary. Jesus gives this interesting answer, an answer quoted by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War (24-26) If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. Jesus defends his position—He is breaking down Satan’s strongholds, not building them up. The problem is we cannot just take Jesus at his word because if he is working for Satan, the Father of all Lies, then it naturally follows that Jesus is a liar as well. In fact, not just a liar, but the biggest LIAR, HYPOCRITE, FRAUD, and SWINDLER in the history of the world.
ARGUMENT: Today, people are less direct; the argument usually sounds different but gets at the same idea. For example, famed scientist and atheist debater and author Richard Dawkins said this of Jesus- “Jesus was a great moral teacher. Somebody as intelligent as Jesus would have been an atheist if he had known what we know today.”EVIDENCE: Let’s see what Jesus said about himself. No doubt he could be considered a great moral teacher—he preached the Sermon on the Mount, famously elevating morality to a degree which has never been matched, he painted a picture of mankind at its best, not just controlling behavior but calling for changed hearts, but where did Jesus ground his moral teaching? Did it come from his head, from his heart, or from somewhere else? In John 10, we are told the source when Jesus declared, “I and the Father are one!” Earlier, he had used the eternal name for God as his own, saying before Abraham was I AM. Jesus not only claimed to be God, but he acted as God taking on roles which were for God and God alone: forgiving sins, claiming a mastery over creation and humanity, and fulfilling the role of Messiah. Now that is Jesus claim, so to say Jesus is just a good moral teacher means Jesus is also a liar…not so moral after all!
He wouldn’t be the first to lie about something, we are used to seeing politicians, religious, or social movements that rose with the charisma of personality, power, or persuasion, and yet what about after the leader is dead? After refusing to defend himself at his trial, Jesus was crucified, still claiming to be fulfilling his will. That isn’t altogether rare, people all the time are willing to die for causes, but what about his followers—in the days following his gruesome death, his disciples would have known 100% whether or not Jesus was telling the truth. People are willing to die for something they believe to be true, but would you be willing to die for something you knew was false? We get the horrific news of suicide bombers that give up their life for promises of ecstasy, pleasure, and prestige in the life to come, we have Christian martyrs that faithfully refused to recant their faith in the face of death, but would anyone be so stupid to follow what was vividly and overtly false?
Think back to the bunker in which Adolf Hitler hid as his plan for world conquest came crashing down around him. Hidden away, isolated with only his closest followers around, he wasn’t willing to go out dying for the cause; instead he committed suicide, running from the punishment. Yet, what about Jesus disciples—History tells us that 10 of the 11 willingly died for the Gospel, and the lucky 1 who didn’t, John was only boiled alive in a cauldron of oil.
C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity gives a wonderful look at the identity of Jesus Christ. The scholar and author puts it pretty bluntly, “You can shut Him up as a fool, you can spit at him as a demon 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. He did not intend to.