Mad, Bad Or God
Jesus did amazing miracles and preached great wisdom; but who was He? That question refused to go away. Every time Jesus spoke or acted with authority, He challenged the position of the religious leaders and made everybody wonder about His true identity. What He did was so compassionate and kind, so uniquely powerful; what He said was considered to be blasphemous because He claimed to be equal with God. There were only three possible explanations: either, Jesus was God as He claimed; or He was mentally unwell and deceived people; or He has special powers from Satan and therefore He was evil. Mad, bad or God.
But the option of being a good teacher, was excluded because He claimed to be 'one with the Father', and therefore God in a human body. So some Jews decided that Jesus must be either demonised or mentally ill or both. But their assessment was challenged by others who saw that His power was constructive whereas Satan's would always be destructive. To think that Jesus was demonised or mad simply did not fit the facts. And His claim to have authority to sacrifice His own life and then to become alive again was only possible if He was God.
The identity of Jesus continues to be a puzzle to many people. He does not fit any known human category. He is too powerful to be an ordinary man, and wiser than even the best teacher. But His claim to be in control of human life - to be authorised by God to lay it down and then to take it up again - means He must be God ... and that was proved when He died and rose again. The death and resurrection of Jesus was the message of the Gospel, calling people from different cultures and religious backgrounds to believe in the Man who is God. Wherever you work or live, it is the same gospel which is powerful to save all those who believe. But they will not be able to believe unless they hear it; and that means you tell them!
© Dr Paul Adams