Lesson 8

How do you know Jesus is the Son of God?

In Lesson 5, we observed the tendency among liberal theologians to de-supernaturalize Jesus into a Jewish Confucius. They sought to keep a Jesus-as-teacher figure without having to commit to a Jesus as God-Man-Savior figure. This is serious heresy. Christianity rises or falls with Jesus. Christianity is not a philosophy, but a Person. There can be no Christianity without Christ. “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.... If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:14, 17).

Whatever he was, Jesus was definitelyNOT just a good moral teacher !#?@!!! People seem to want to be nice to Jesus, but don't want to have to give their lives to Jesus. So they say silly things like this...

“I think Jesus was a great guy and all, but I wouldn't say he was the Son of God or anything like that.”

1. “Great Guy” is not an option

Jesus went out of his way to make sure that NO ONE would be able to get away with this kind of statement. Jesus claimed to be a lot more than a good guy or a moral teacher. He claimed to be the Son of God. We have a record of this claim in numerous different biblical books, each written by a different author. Steve Kumar observes how Jesus claimed:

The Jewish leaders who lobbied to kill Jesus also acknowledge that he claimed to be the Son of God. That's why they wanted him dead. Religious fanatics don't kill you for telling people to love each other. They kill you for major heresy, like claiming to be the Son of God, making yourself an equal to God. And remember, in Jewish custom, the firstborn son is equal to his father and receives everything that belongs to the father. The claim to be God’s only begotten son was a claim to be equal to God himself. The Jewish Babylonian Talmud even confirms that Jesus performed miracles, though it implies that he did them through the power of Satan.... Jesus was a lying “sorcerer” who sought to lead the people into idolatry. 2. There are only three options

C.S. Lewis set forth for his readers the simple trilemma by which Jesus confronts us all. You see, once Jesus claimed to be God’s Son, only three options remained:  Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord.

When we look at the record of Jesus’ life, do we see the life of a liar? Do we see a lunatic?

A LIAR? Was deception at the core of a man condemned for showing mercy to those despised by the ruling religious authorities? And if Jesus was lying, could he have hidden it from his closest companions, or were they in on it too? It has been said that three men can keep a secret so long as two of them are dead. Yet Jesus’ disciples never admitted he was lying, if he was. Indeed, early tradition holds that ten of the Eleven died martyrs deaths. Would all these men die for a lie?

A LUNATIC? If Jesus was crazy, no one noticed it at the time, not even the men he traveled with for three years. His enemies didn’t claim he was crazy, but wicked and demonic. Do crazy people claim to be God? Sometimes. But only one man could back up his claim with miracles, fulfilled prophecy, and a resurrection from the dead. And we should remember that insanity in a leader is usually characterized by violence. But Jesus—if crazy—was one of the few who could hold together lunacy and power in a perfect bond of peace.

3. What if Jesus had never been born?

What would the world be like if Jesus had never been born? No single figure in human history has had a greater positive impact upon world civilization than Jesus of Nazareth. Consider...

If you judge a tree by the fruit it bears, then the only possible conclusion one can come to is that Jesus was not a liar and was not a lunatic, but was telling the truth. Jesus is in fact the Son of God who continues to impact the world to this day.