Two thousand years ago a man lived in what is today the country of Israel. He was a Jew and a carpenter by trade. He never traveled far from home, never wrote a book, never raised an army, and never served in any political office. But amazingly, incredibly, he claimed to be the Messiah and Son of God. He lived a perfect life and performed miracles, healing the sick and lame, giving sight to the blind, walking on water, even raising the dead, the kinds of things one would expect the real Son of God would be able to do. Continue reading
The infant is no ordinary child, as each player in the Story makes clear. The information the angel Gabriel gives to Jesus’ mother, the message of the heavenly heralds at his birth, the words of Simeon and Anna when Jesus is presented at the temple eight days after he was born, and the remarkable visit from the magi, all resonate with the same message. This infant is God come to earth. He is the promised Redeemer, the Messiah of Israel. He is the rescuer, the Savior of the world.
— Greg Koukl, from The Story of Reality, kindle location 1833
For even if the Word in his immeasurable essence united with the nature of man into one person, we do not imagine that he was confined therein. Here is something marvelous: the Son of God descended from heaven in such a way that without leaving heaven, he willed to be born in the virgin’s womb, to go about the earth, and to hang upon the cross; yet he continuously filled the world even as he had done from the beginning.
— John Calvin, quoted in Without a Doubt by Kenneth Richard Samples, kindle location 1488
We have to say that Jesus was a forbidding and unsparing leader. He issued an invitation, but made clear his demands. He supplied needs, but required sacrifice. He made promises, but emphasized costs. He was as offensive as he was appealing. No one who chose to follow him could have done so with their eyes closed.
— Os Guinness, from The Last Christian on Earth, kindle location 1691
In the words of the Council of Chalcedon (A.D. 451), Jesus Christ was “truly God, and the same truly man,” one Lord “manifested in two natures, without confusion, without conversion, indivisibly, inseparably. The distinction of the natures being by no means abolished by the union, but rather the property of each preserved and combined into one person and one hypostasis, not one severed or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten, viz., God, Logos, and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
— John Feinberg, from In Defense of Miracles, p. 231
He (Jesus) brings together a startling coalescence of contrarieties. In Jesus we see that he was the meekest and lowliest of all the sons of men, yet He spoke of coming on the clouds of heaven with the glory of God. He was so austere that they said evil spirits and demons cried out in terror at His coming, yet He was so genial and winsome and approachable that the children loved to play with Him and the little ones nestled in His arms. Continue reading
He never used such words as ‘perhaps,’ ‘maybe,’ ‘I think so.’ Even his words had a concrete feeling about them. They fell upon the soul with the authority of certainty.
— E. Stanley Jones, quoted in Jesus in An Age of Controversy by Douglas Groothuis, p. 245
Was Jesus God, the messianic Savior who came to earth to rescue his people, as he testified about himself and as his followers believed radically? Or was he an important religious figure, but one who was not, nor ever claimed to be, the divine Messiah. Continue reading
How much of our traditional understanding of Jesus is the product not so much of the historical records as of pious imagination and sentimentality? How much of it has the effect of turning Jesus into a man of our own culture, or still worse, of no culture at all, thus effectively cutting him off from real life? How many people today, Christian people included, subconsciously think of Jesus in the terms of the Christianised version of the Testimonium Flavianum: ‘a wise man, if indeed one should call him a man’? Are we not still slightly shocked at the thought that Jesus could have had a real sense of humour, or held political views?
— R. T. France, from The Evidence for Jesus, p. 158
About Jesus, Paul declares:
- He descended from Abraham (Galatians 3:16);
- he was a descendant of David (Romans 1:3);
- he was born of a woman (Galatians 4:4);
- he was humble (Philippians 2:6-7);
- he did not please himself, but was insulted (Romans 15:3);
- he instituted the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23);
- he was betrayed (1 Corinthians 11:23);
- he was killed by Jews of Judea (1 Thessalonians 2:14-15);
- he was buried and rose again (1 Corinthians 15:4-8).
— Douglas Groothuis, from Jesus in An Age of Controversy, p. 62