Well I guess it naturally follows our first question “Is there a God?” but it is just as difficult to answer for the nonbeliever.
Is Jesus Christ God?
For a Christian raised on the idea of God and Jesus, the question is preposterous but for others, it may be a major stumbling block.
The famous philosopher Bertrand Russell states “Historically, it is quite doubtful whether Christ ever existed at all, and if He did we do not know anything about Him.”
If you have ever read your Bible or even attended a good Sunday School class, you know the information. The child born in the stable over 2000 years ago. He lived in relative obscurity in Nazareth and astounded his parents and rabbis and scholars in the temple by going there and claiming he was “about My Father’s business.” Nothing much is known about Him until his thirtieth birthday when He began his three year ministry, a ministry that changed the world.
He began to make shocking statements about His connection to God, in fact that He was God. At the time, this challenged the status quo. Now we know what He meant as we have the New Testament to help us and more astute readers of the Old Testament can see the life and death of Jesus forecast in that part of the Bible and can understand Biblical explanations of His Divinity.
But what about the unbeliever who questions those statements made by Jesus? The Jews of Jesus’ day certainly did not believe Jesus as many of them wanted Him put to death for proclaiming His blasphemy–that He was God.
One can turn to the miracles of Jesus for support. The miracle of the water into wine is minor but have you tried to do that lately? What a wonderful trick to have up your sleeve for the person who runs out of wine at the party. What of the Roman official’s son? Jesus healed that sick son “long distance”, while He was in the presence of the official. He said “He is healed” and when the father returned to the son, Jesus had already done what He said, at the time that He said it. Jesus made the lame man walk after he had been on his mat at the healing waters for many, many years. He got in trouble because He did the healing on the Sabbath but the man got up and walked. Jesus fed the masses on very few fishes and very few loaves of bread [with leftovers!]. After that He walked on the water to His disciples in the middle of the storm and He calmed the stormy waters. Of course Jesus healed Lazarus, a friend who had been dead for four days.
This laundry list of miracles began to turn doubters into believers in Jesus’ time and they became part of God’s plan.
He said to His disciples these miracles are “for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”
What is this reasoning? How would a list like this make a doubter become a believer. It is called inductive reasoning. Fact after fact is thrown at the unbeliever until the unbeliever takes what is called an “inductive leap.” How many miracles does it take for a nonbeliever to become a believer.
It took an earthquake at Golgotha for the centurion to say what he said but he finally said it: “When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, ‘Surely He was the Son of God!’” [Matthew 27:54].
What does the Divinity of Jesus depend upon? It depends upon the claims of Jesus, the miracles of Jesus and the reporting of Jesus in the Gospels.
For some that is enough.
For others, the labels liar, lunatic and legend seem to apply.
That person needs more.
In tomorrow’s post we will discuss that more dedicated unbeliever, the one who questions the veracity of Jesus’ claims, the mental stability of our Lord and the historicity of Jesus.
Was the life of Jesus real or was it just fiction?
Maybe for people who say things like this, nothing will help.
Look at these strong words from this unbeliever>
“Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines.”