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Was Jesus God’s Son or was he just a really good and Wise Teacher?

Was Jesus God’s Son or Just a Wise Teacher?

Introduction:
The question of who Jesus was has been debated for centuries. To understand Jesus’ true identity, it’s crucial to look at both historical and biblical evidence.

Historical Context:

  1. Evidence of Jesus’ Existence:
  • Jesus’ existence is widely supported by historical sources beyond the Bible, like Roman historian Tacitus, Jewish historian Josephus, and Greek historian Lucian. Tacitus mentioned Jesus in his Annals, writing about the execution of “Christus” under Pontius Pilate.
  • The Jewish historian Josephus wrote about Jesus in Antiquities of the Jews:
    > “At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good, and he was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. But those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship.” (Antiquities, Book 18, Chapter 3)
  1. The Early Church Fathers:
  • Writers like Ignatius of Antioch (c. 35–107 AD) and Justin Martyr (c. 100–165 AD) affirmed Jesus as God’s Son, basing their claims on apostolic teachings.

Biblical Evidence:

  1. Jesus as God’s Son:
  • In the Gospel of John:
    > “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, ESV)
  • At Jesus’ baptism:
    > “And behold, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’” (Matthew 3:17, ESV)
  1. Jesus as a Wise Teacher:
  • Jesus is often regarded as a teacher or “rabbi”:
    > “And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, ‘He shall be called a Nazarene.’” (Matthew 2:23, ESV)
  • His teachings, like the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), reveal profound wisdom.
  1. Jesus’ Claims about Himself:
  • Jesus made several bold claims:
    > “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30, ESV)
  • He accepted worship, which was unusual for a teacher:
    > “Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’” (Matthew 14:33, ESV)

Theological Analysis:

  1. Augustine’s Confessions:
  • In his Confessions, Augustine (354–430 AD) emphasizes Jesus as the Son of God:
    > “O Lord our God, under the shadow of thy wings let us hope. Protect us and carry us.” (Confessions, Book 9, Chapter 3)
  1. Aquinas on the Divinity of Jesus:
  • Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274 AD) argued for Jesus’ divinity in his Summa Theologica:
    > “It was necessary for man’s salvation that God should become incarnate.” (Summa Theologica, III, Q. 1, Art. 2)
  1. Martin Luther’s Reformation View:
  • Martin Luther (1483–1546 AD) emphasized Jesus’ identity as God’s Son in his 95 Theses, advocating faith in Christ alone:
    > “Christians should be taught that he who sees someone needy but looks past him and buys an indulgence instead, receives not the pope’s remission but God’s wrath.” (Thesis 45, 95 Theses)

Conclusion:

Three Key Takeaways:

  1. Historical Reality:
  • Jesus was a real person who lived in first-century Judea, with historical evidence supporting his existence.
  1. Divine Identity:
  • Biblical and theological sources affirm Jesus as God’s Son, not merely a wise teacher.
  1. Personal Choice:
  • Believing in Jesus as God’s Son is a matter of personal faith, with the Bible inviting individuals to trust in him.

Summary Verse:

“But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31, ESV)

Author

  • Greg Gaines

    Father / Grandfather / Minister / Missionary / Deacon / Elder / Author / Digital Missionary / Foster Parents / Welcome to our Family https://jesusleadershiptraining.com/about-us/

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