Jesus: God, Prophet Or Fraud?
According to agnostic scholar, Bart Ehrman: “The view that Jesus existed is held by virtually every expert on the planet.”
- Jews believe he was a human teacher.
- Muslims believe he was a prophet.
- Hindus and Buddhists believe he was an enlightened man.
All these religions admit that Jesus was a good man, but not God.
On the other hand, Christians believe that Jesus is God and although it takes faith for a believer to believe, I do believe it is a logical conclusion to make, based of the substantial evidence below.
If Jesus is not who he claimed to be, then not only is Christianity the biggest fraud in history, but Jesus himself must be a liar…
1. You Can’t Tell Time Without Jesus
The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar in the world today, from which comes the labels BC and AD. If you don’t know what these labels mean, BC stands for ‘Before Christ’ and AD is derived from the Latin phrase ‘Anno Domini’ to mean ‘In The Year Of Our Lord’. You can’t tell time without Jesus!
It’s crazy to me that every race, every religion, every person is telling time based upon the life of Jesus. For time revolves around Him, simply because He is the author of time! If so, Jesus was the uncaused cause and hence, He was there in the beginning when the world was created.
For no other man has impacted history quite like Jesus has. If the event of his birth is so significant than how much more significant must He be?
2. Jesus Fulfilled Over 300 Prophecies In The Old Testament
It’s virtually impossible for someone to fulfil accurately 300 prophecies spread across all aspects of their life: their birth, ministry, death and resurrection. It’s nothing short of the supernatural.
The Book of Isaiah is full of prophecies written 700 years before the birth of Christ. Yet, somehow all these prophecies have been fulfilled by this man called Jesus.
Everything in the Old Testament foreshadowed the New Testament. There are numerous parallels between scriptures written thousands of years apart. In Genesis, Abraham’s sacrifice of His only son, Isaac and the Jewish Passover, in Exodus, prefigured the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross.
But my point is: the life of Jesus is no ordinary life – for He fulfilled the Scriptures in every way possible. Unlike Mohammad or Buddha, who did not perform miracles, Jesus openly did. How could he make the impossible possible, if he were not God?
3. Jesus Resurrected From The Dead
The reliability of the Gospel accounts can be tested by asking the question: Why would the Jewish writers of the New Testament invent a story about the resurrected Jesus if they were already God’s chosen people? Why would they say a man who claimed to be God rose from the dead if it didn’t actually happen? As Jews, they thought it was blasphemy for a man to claim to be God.
For they had no motive to invent a resurrected Jesus and risk persecution. Why would they risk their lives by claiming that this was true, if it were made up? Why would 10/12 of Jesus’ disciples sacrifice their lives as martyrs, if Jesus was a fraud? Why would Paul, who persecuted the Christians, have a change in heart and become an evangelist, if Jesus didn’t reveal his divinity to him?
Even if the New Testament didn’t exist Christianity would still be true, because Christianity exists because of the resurrection, witnessed by 500 people and documented in over 5,500 Greek manuscripts and 15,000 other manuscripts, written in Latin, Coptic & Syriac.
Unlike biographies of other religious leaders written centuries after those figures died, the Bible’s description of Jesus was written within decades by eyewitnesses or people who knew eyewitnesses.
If Jesus claimed to resurrect from the dead and actually did, shouldn’t we also trust His other claims? If historically, the New Testament manuscripts are a reliable source of evidence, with no ulterior motive, then it can reveal to us what convicts a Christian to believe that Jesus is God.
1. Jesus Claimed To Be The Son Of Man:
“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” – Daniel 7:13-14
Jesus claimed to be the Son of Man 80 times, asserting his role as the Messiah. Since, worship is for God alone then he claimed to be God and fulfilled scripture.
2. Jesus Had Control Over Nature:
“Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.” – Matthew 8:26-27
No one has the power to make nature obey them unless they were of a divine nature.
3. Jesus Could Forgive Sins:
“I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” – Matthew 9:6
Not only in this chapter does Jesus heal the paralysed man, he claims the authority to forgive sins. Since, only God could forgive sins, He was asserting His divinity.
4. Jesus Had Power Over Death:
““I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” – John 11:25-26
In this passage of scripture, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead as a foretaste of the resurrection event to come and demonstrates his omnipotence.
5. Jesus Had The Power To Give Eternal Life:
“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish;” – John 10:28
Only God has the power to give life and take away life, hence Jesus was claiming to be God.
6. Jesus Claimed To Exist Before The World:
“Now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” – John 17:5
Since God created the world, then Jesus claimed to have existed before the world and claimed to be God. He removes doubt about multiple Gods, when he stated: “The Father and I are one” – John 10:30 and “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” – John 14:9
7. Jesus Claimed To See The Future:
“He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.” - Luke 18:31-33
Jesus accurately depicted his death for the third time, proving that he is omniscient.
8. Jesus Used The Unpronounced Name Of God For Himself
“Before Abraham was, I am” – John 8:58
The sacred name for God “Yahweh” translates from Hebrew to “I am”. Hence, Jesus was claiming to eternally exist before Abraham. It would be blasphemous for Jesus to claim this and use the sacred name disrespectfully, if he were not God. But it wouldn’t be blasphemous if Jesus was God.
The reality is that Jesus believed he was God and we can trust his claim, because the New Testament documents are reliable. Jesus stood firm in his identity and didn’t correct his disciple Thomas who referred to him as “My Lord and my God!” – John 20:28, after coming to know the truth.
So the question we must ask ourselves is: who is Jesus?