by Tom Kraeuter
If you inquire, most people today will tell you they believe Jesus was a great man. Many will even glibly suggest that He was a prophet. The truth is that anyone making such a statement really has not read the claims that Jesus made about Himself. To honestly read Jesus’ assertions regarding Himself can lead to only one of two possibilities: either He was a raving lunatic or the Son of God, the Savior of the World. Jesus’ words are so clear that He definitely left no room for the “prophet” or “great man” theories.
Jesus often referred to Himself in the third-person, and when He did the most common phrase He used about Himself was the Son of Man. Let’s look at some of Jesus’ statements.
“At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other” (Matthew 24:30-31).
“At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:27).
To think that someone who is simply a great man was going to return to earth, riding on the clouds is ludicrous.
“Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you’” (John 6:53).
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6).
A prophet who would suggest that it is only through him we can have access to true life and to God Himself? It is far more likely that such a “prophet” would have been struck by lightning.
“For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8).
“Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?’ ‘I am,’ said Jesus” (Mark 14:61b-62a).
“‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’” (John 8:58).
“I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).
Jesus insinuated and then blatantly proclaimed equality with God. A prophet? A great man? Hardly. These are just a few of many passages where Jesus’ own words point to an obviously different conclusion.
Jesus was not ambiguous. He did not see Himself as simply a great man or a prophet. In fact, repeatedly throughout the accounts of Jesus’ life, former prophets of Israel are quoted pointing to Jesus as the clear fulfillment of their prophecies.
Jesus was far more than simply a great man or a prophet. He is the Son of God, the returning King, the Savior of the world.
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