On Yeshua

We speak, we preach, we learn of Him – but the world at large, including the Christians who receive Him, argue over who He was and is, this man nicknamed, Jesus.   Let’s pull way back and categorize Him according to the way people generally see Him from the point of no regard to the highest.

The “Not-Historical” Jesus.

A 2015 survey by the Church of England found that twenty-two percent of England’s population did not believe that the person nicknamed Jesus was a historical reality.  New Testament scholar and critic of many Christian myths Bart Erdman even admits that historians never questioned His existence, saying, “it’s useful for realizing that Jesus was known by historians who had reason to look into the matter. No one thought he was made up.”

Of course, people have the right to believe only according to evidence that they deem real and important and we have to admit that there is scant evidence for their being an actual historical figure named Jesus – but then again, there is scant historical evidence for the existence of any peasant leader from that age.

“A Good Man”

Many people, Christians included embrace Jesus as “a prophet,” and even “a good man,” but deny Him as being God with us, as one who performed supernatural miracles or one who resurrected from the dead.   He was no different, then, in this light than any enlightened or inspired human beings who came before or after Him.  This acknowledgement, while falling far short of what the Apostolic Record describes as saving faith in Him, at least admits His existence and the fact that He taught and did well.

A “Manipulative Man”

One segment of society, many who often come from Hebrew roots, suggest that Jesus was an operative of the Dark, a false prophet, even someone sent to lead good Jewish people astray to form His own following.  For those in this camp, I maintain their right to such freedom of thought, suggest that they need to be received in peace and love, and cannot help but disagree completely with this view – for whatever that’s worth.

 “Not God,” Man

From these places other views of Jesus seem to radiate off of Him being someone special, someone called by God or called to represent God and the first opinion in this arena tends to be that He was a human being, born of a human being, and died as a human being – period.  Could He have been empowered by God to do wonderful miracles?  Those who reject His deity might even say yes.  But there is a segment of followers of Jesus who refuse to admit or believe that Jesus was “God with us.”  However, many of them accept Him to be more than just a good man or a prophet.  They tend to see Him as God’s only human son, a call or anointing so special that it sanctified Jesus as more than a common mouthpiece for the Almighty.  Those in this camp often site scriptural facts orbiting around Him to prove their point, facts like He was tempted (and God can’t be tempted), or He was unaware of the date of His return (and God knows everything) . . . stuff like that.

A Literal “Son of God,” but not God Himself.

The final view that we will cover in this first blog, and one that is held primarily by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) and most of their off-shoot expressions, is that Jesus was with his literal Father and Mother in Heaven (along with the rest of us) who created Him spiritually in a pre-mortal existence.  Then being the first created spirit-son of these Heavenly parents, Jesus would come to earth to get a physical body and with that body He would, through perfect obedience overcoming the Law, shed His own blood, die, resurrect and thereafter join a long line of other mortal men (created by other heavenly parents) who have been deified.

Interestingly, the LDS view is not as far afield as most people believe as the Bible plainly describes the person called Jesus as being and doing many of the things most Evangelicals almost entirely overlook.  We will describe the biblical Jesus rightly, and in part two of this third Blogspot coming next!

Shawn McCraney
Shawn McCraney
Articles: 108

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