Monday, 28 July 2014

Unique Things about Jesus

Jesus Christ is at the heart of Christianity and if He is a fraud, Christianity is a fraud. So I am today re-examining what sets Jesus set him apart from all other religious leaders and from every human being who has ever lived, even from prophets (which some religions believe He was).

The first unique aspect is His paradoxical character. His claims were those of an egomaniac or extreme narcissist:

“I am the light of the world”
“I am the truth, the way and the life” 
“No one comes to the Father but through me”
Has anyone, even a seriously mentally-ill person talked in such a manner and retained any friends or their freedom for long? Some prophets have made some bold claims but they are not on this "me-centred" level. Have people speaking like this maintained not just an audience, but adoring disciples? Has anyone talking like this been revered, rather than despised in the whole history of the world?

There have been some people who have worked to develop a kind of Svengali-type "hold" over people, which can happen in self-destructive cults. But even they do not generally talk about themselves in this open, “me-centred” manner. Indeed, they may act a more humble, pleasing part in public, in order to deceive, because to make such claims, openly evil and over-dominant could give away their true motives. It is only in secret, and in their "fruits" that those acting falsely are revealed as having ulterior motives. They are found never to have acted on behalf of anyone, but themselves.
No such flaws can be discerned in Jesus. Not only did people utterly trust His character, but they also treated Him as a compassionate and non self-centred human, asking Him frank questions, leaning on His shoulder and humiliating themselves at His feet. He arranged His death for God and for the world - clearly that was not for Himself. He was always utterly open to people’s needs, searching out the lost, focusing not on Himself, as a narcissist would, but on God and others. His fruit was good fruit, the best fruit - that altered lives and history - even miraculous fruit.

Who else in the history of the world has ever made these proud, apparently vain or “mad” and “bad” demanding claims, yet behaved like a poor servant, without power or rights, washing feet, riding an ass or dying a criminal’s death at a public execution for love? Clearly, Jesus was not making these claims for money, fame or gain. Without His Resurrection, His life and mission seemed a complete failure.... Humble people can put themselves last, but they do not make grandiose claims. Grandiose narcissists do not live or speak like humble people, or live exemplary lives, or determine to die for others, for no personal gain.

So the only possible explanations are these two: Jesus was either deeply deluded about who He claimed to be (God’s only and eternal Son) - or He was God’s unique Son.

Self-deluded people will usually show some serious imbalance in some area of their life, and a gap of suspicion opens up between their deluded view of reality - a gap of credibility - but in Jesus there was no gap. He was always in control of Himself, totally sane, strong, wise and brilliant in His teaching. He spoke a lot about His suffering and dying.

This leaves just one explanation of the paradox: His huge claims were true. He is the Alpha and the Omega....the First and the Last, the unique One. It is the only explanation that makes sense of the evidence.


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