If you’re looking for evidence that God exists, and that God has come down to earth as a man, you need to consider Jesus Christ, because of his unique claims:-
It is the purpose of this page to show that Jesus’ claims are absolutely credible, and that he towers above any other person who may have claimed to have come from God, or to be the way to God. The main source of information we have about Jesus is the Bible. What makes Jesus unique?
“They said to Him, Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the Law, commanded us that such should be stoned [to death]. But what do You say?” – John 8: 4, 5
“Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her: Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you? She said, No one, Lord. And Jesus said to her: Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” – verses 9, 10, 11Dear reader, I don’t know about you, but I see God in human form here, full of grace, truth, compassion and wisdom.
“And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.” – Matthew 22:46The morality that Jesus preached was beyond compare. Much of his ethical teachings are recorded in a Bible passage frequently referred to as the Sermon on the Mount. I once met a disciple of Jesus Christ (believer) from Turkey, who grew up as a Muslim. He was once given a Bible. When he came to the Sermon on the Mount, his reaction was: “If there is a God, it has to be this man”. The Sermon on the Mount can be found in Matthew 5:1 onwards.
Another unique feature of Jesus is that the details of his birth, life, death and resurrection were prophesied hundreds and even thousands of years before his birth. It is virtually impossible for these prophecies (called Messianic prophecies) to get fulfilled in somebody’s life by coincidence.
Not only did Jesus fulfill these prophecies, he was fully aware of them, as you’d expect of someone who knows what he’s doing. He also affirmed the validity of the prophecies and the scriptures in general. For instance, when he was being arrested, he told his disciples:
“Do you think that I am not able now to pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen this way?” – Matthew 26: 53
It was prophesied that one of his disciples would betray him. Jesus knew who it was, and this is how Jesus warned him:
“The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he was never born.” – Matthew 26:24
Jesus is absolutely sure of what’s going to happen, because of prophecy. Again, speaking of what is written in the Old Testament, Jesus says:
“For truly I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all is fulfilled.” – Matthew 5:18
Some examples of the miracles that Jesus did are as follows:
He multiplied food:
In John 6:5-14, we read about Jesus multiplying five loaves and two fishes to feed five thousand men, plus women and children.
He calmed a storm:
On a trip across the Sea of Galilee (Modern Israelis call it Yom Kinneret, see the image), Jesus’ disciples ran into a storm. “But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing? And He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, Be silent! Be muzzled! And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. And He said to them, Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” – Mark 4: 38-41
He raised Lazarus from the dead, as narrated above
He healed the sick:
In Matthew 9:2-7, the Lord Jesus healed a paralytic and pronounced his sins forgiven.
An important distinction: Many other Biblical figures performed miracles, but they did so by praying to God or invoking the name of Jesus. However, Jesus performed miracles merely by speaking on his own authority. Thus, Jesus' miracles prove his deity.
Even those who have not been followers of Jesus Christ acknowledged his uniqueness:-
"It is evidence of His [Jesus'] importance, of the effect that He has had upon history and presumably, of the baffling mystery of His being that no other life ever lived on this planet has evoked so huge a volume of literature among so many people and languages, and that, far from ebbing, the flood continues to mount." – Kenneth Scott Latourette in History of Christianity.
"This Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander, Caesar, Mohammed, and Napoleon: without science and learning. He shed more light on things human and divine than all scholars and philosophers combined: without the eloquence of schools. He spoke such words of life as were never spoken before or since, and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of orator or poet; without writing a single line. He set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art, and songs of praise than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times." – historian Philip Schaff
"I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creation of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him." – Napoleon Bonaparte, French emperor
"[The character of Jesus] has not only been the highest pattern of virtue, but the strongest incentive to its practice, and has exerted so deep an influence, that it may be truly said, that the simple record of three short years of active life has done more to regenerate and to soften mankind, than all the disquisitions of philosophers and than all the exhortations of moralists…[Jesus] has exercised so deep an influence that it may be truly said that the simple record of three short years of active life has done more to regenerate and soften mankind than all the disquisitions of philosophers and all the exhortations of moralists. This has indeed been the wellspring of whatever is best and purest in the Christian life." – Skeptic W.E.H. Lecky, History of European Morals from Augustus to Charlemagne (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1903).
"If you were to take the sum total of all authoritative articles ever written by the most qualified of psychologists and psychiatrists on the subject of mental hygiene--if you were to combine them and refine them and cleave out the excess verbiage--if you were to take the whole of the meat and none of the parsley, and if you were to have these unadulterated bits of pure scientific knowledge concisely expressed by the most capable of living poets, you would have an awkward and incomplete summation of the Sermon on the Mount. And it would suffer immeasurably through comparison. For nearly two thousand years the Christian world has been holding in its hands the complete answer to its restless and fruitless yearnings. Here ... rests the blueprint for successful human life with optimum mental health and contentment." – J.T. Fisher and L.S. Hawley, A Few Buttons Missing
Jesus Christ has been able to captivate the hearts of people worldwide. More songs have been written about Jesus Christ than about any other personality. Here are some of the things that people have written about him:-
How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds in a believer’s ear!
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds, And drives away his fear.
It makes the wounded spirit whole, And calms the troubled breast;
’Tis manna to the hungry soul, And to the weary, rest.
Dear Name, the Rock on which I build, My Shield and Hiding Place,
My never failing treasury, filled With boundless stores of grace!
Jesus! my Shepherd, Husband, Friend, O Prophet, Priest and King,
My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End, Accept the praise I bring.
– John Newton. Newton credited Jesus for changing him from a ruthless, foul-mouthed slave dealer to church leader who worked to oppose slavery.
"Wonderful, wonderful, Jesus is to me!
Counselor, mighty God, Prince of Peace is he
Saving me, keeping me from all sin and shame
Wonderful is my Redeemer - praise his Name"
A young Hindu yogi, Rabindranath Maharaj, heard this song at a Christian gathering that he was invited to. This was his reaction: "I had never heard anyone say that a Hindu god was "wonderful" or a "counselor". Certainly no one would sing that about Shiva, about Kali, is blood-thirsty wife, or about their favorite son Ganesh, half-elephant and half-human". We can add that no Buddhist ever said such things about Buddha; no Muslim ever claims that Muhammad keeps him from shame. Nor will any atheist say such things about Frederich Engels.
What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he'll take and shield thee; thou wilt find a solace there.
- Joseph Scriven (shown in the image)
Why is it that people living centuries after Christ, thousands of miles away from his birth-place, write such touching things about him? Would you like to try and invent some hypothesis to explain it away? "Scriven was paid to write these words by rich people who wanted to control others using religion"? Joseph Scriven was a Irishman who went through a lot of tragedy (two cases of his wife-to-be dying shortly before the wedding, once by a horse-riding accident, the other by sickness, for example). In an effort to have a fresh start, Scriven migrated to Canada. After a few years, he learned that his mother was seriously sick in the UK. He wrote this poem to comfort her. Years later, Charles Converse set them to tune. It was originally published anonymously, and Scriven did not receive full credit for almost 30 years.
You can browse more tributes to Jesus. These songs are just the tip of a gigantic iceberg (not to mention other languages!). The intensity and scale of the tributes offered to Jesus Christ show that he was not a fraud. He was who he claimed to be – the son of God come down in human form as our savior.
In Luke 2:41-52, we read of the visit that Jesus' parents made to the Temple in Jerusalem for the Passover feast. After the feast, Jesus got "lost"; that is, he lingered on in Jerusalem while his parents began their return journey. After a few days of worried searching, his parents found him at the Temple, discussing and debating with the Jewish religious scholars, astounding everyone with his understanding. When his mother gently reprimanded him for remaining, his reply to her was: "Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I was about my Father's business?"
This is remarkable. Jesus' claim that he was the Son of God sent to earth with a mission is not something he invented when he was old, but he professed it even when he was just 12 years old. Contrast this with others:-
Jesus Christ has the unique feature of people wanting to appropriate him for their respective ideology.
"So who was Jesus? Was he a wandering hasid, or holy man, as Geza Vermes and A. N. Wilson propose? Was he a "peasant Jewish cynic" as John Dominic Crossan alleges? Was he a magician who sought to lead Israel astray, as the Talmud holds? Was he a self-proclaimed prophet who died in disillusionment, as Albert Schweitzer maintained? Was he some first-century personage whose purported miracles and divinity were mere myths or fabrications by the early church as David F. Strauss, Ruldolf Bulltmann, and John Hick suggest? Or was He, as the Gospels assert, "Christ, the son of the living God"?" – Paul Copan, True for you but not for me, Bethany Minneapolis, 19998, 94.
"…the liberal searchers found a liberal Jesus…the deists found a deist, the Romantics a Romantic, the existentialists an existentialist, and the liberationists a Jesus of class struggle" – Charlotte Allen, The Human Christ, (Oxford, Lion, 1998), 5.
No other person in history has this distinction of being appropriated for every cause.
He even predicted it in advance (Matthew 20:18-19). You can read about the resurrection from John 20:1 onwards. Did the resurrection really happen?