Is Jesus God? Have you ever met a man who is the center of attention wherever he goes? Some mysterious, indefinable characteristic sets him apart from all other men. Well, that’s the way it was two thousand years ago with Jesus Christ. But it wasn’t merely Jesus’ personality that captivated those who heard him. Those who witnessed his words and life tell us that something about Jesus of Nazareth was different from all other men. Jesus’ only credentials were himself. He never wrote a book, commanded an rmy, held a political office, or owned property.
He mostly traveled within a hundred miles of his village, attracting crowds who were amazed at his provocative words and stunning deeds. Yet Jesus’ greatness was obvious to all those who saw and heard him. And while most great people eventually fade into history books, Jesus is still the focus of thousands of books and unparalleled media controversy. And much of that controversy revolves around the radical claims Jesus made about himself”claims that astounded both his followers and his adversaries.
It was primarily Jesus’ unique claims that caused him to be viewed as a threat by both the Roman authorities and the Jewish hierarchy. Although he was an outsider with no credentials or political powerbase, within three years, Jesus changed the world for the next 20 centuries. Other moral and religious leaders have left an impact ”but nothing like that unknown carpenter’s son from Nazareth. What was it about Jesus Christ that made the difference? Was he merely a great man, or something more? These questions get to the heart of who Jesus really was.
Some believe he was merely a great moral teacher; others believe he was simply the leader of the world’s greatest religion. But many believe something far more. Christians believe that God has actually visited us in human form. And they believe the evidence backs that up. After carefully examining Jesus’ life and words, former Cambridge professor and skeptic, C. S. Lewis, came to a startling conclusion about him that altered the course of his life. So who is the real Jesus? Many will answer that Jesus was a great moral teacher.
As we take a deeper look at the world’s most controversial person, we begin by asking: could Jesus have been merely a great moral teacher? Great Moral Teacher? Even those from other religions acknowledge that Jesus was a great moral teacher. Indian leader, Mahatma Gandhi, spoke highly of Jesus’ righteous life and profound words. [l] Likewise, Jewish scholar Joseph Klausner wrote, “It is universally admitted that Christ taught the purest and sublimest ethics which throws the moral precepts and maxims of the wisest men of antiquity far into the shade. “ Jesus’
Sermon on the Mount has been called the most superlative teaching of human ethics ever uttered by an individual. In fact, much of what we know today as “equal rights” actually is the result of Jesus’ teaching. Historian Will Durant, a non-Christian, said of Jesus that “he lived and struggled unremittingly for ‘equal rights’; in modern times he would have been sent to Siberia. ‘He that is greatest among you, let him be your Gandhi, have tried to separate Jesus’ teaching on ethics from his claims about himself, believing that he was simply a great man who taught lofty moral principles.
This was the approach of one of America’s Founding Fathers, President Thomas Jefferson, who cut and pasted a copy of the New Testament, removing sections he thought referred to Jesus’ deity, while leaving in other passages regarding Jesus’ ethical and moral teaching.  Jefferson carried around his cut and pasted New Testament with him, revering Jesus as perhaps the greatest moral teacher of all time. In fact, Jefferson’s memorable words in the Declaration of Independence were rooted in Jesus’ teaching that