Friday, November 26, 2010

Jesus: A Good Man or the God-Man?

What does the name "Jesus Christ" mean? “Jesus” (Greek) is equivalent to “Joshua” (Hebrew) and means “the LORD saves.” The angel instructed Joseph, “You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). “Christ” (Greek) is equivalent to “Messiah” (Hebrew) and means “the anointed one” or "the chosen one." He was the one chosen to be the world's Savior.

It seems everyone has an opinion about Jesus:
  • John Lennon: “We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first—rock and roll or Christianity.”
  • Mikhail Gorbachev: “Jesus was the first socialist, the first to seek a better life for mankind.”
  • Oprah Winfrey: “Jesus cannot be the only way to God.”
  • Liberal Christianity: Jesus was a good man, but not the God-man.
  • Islam: Jesus was merely a man and a prophet and was inferior to Muhammad.
  • Judaism: Jesus was a false messiah.
  • Mormonism: Jesus was only a man who became one of many gods.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses: Before Jesus lived on earth, he was Michael the archangel.
  • The Da Vinci Code: The deity of Jesus is an idea the church created later.
  • Jesus’ enemies: “You, a mere man, claim to be God” (John 10:33).
  • John, the apostle: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:1, 14).
  • Paul, the apostle: “Christ, who is God over all, forever praised!” (Romans 9:5).
  • Thomas, the apostle: “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28).
  • C. S. Lewis: “I am trying to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him, ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the sort of thing we must not say. 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 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 patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

--Philippians 2:5-11