Alter, good question. There are plenty of people who believe Jesus was a good and moral philosopher whose example we should live by. Those people would not be Christians. For example, I believe several of Buddha’s teachings are relevant and important in our day and age (eliminate suffering in the world, right speech, conduct, mindfulness, etc) however, that doesn’t mean I’m a Buddhist by any means. It just means I agree with aspects of his teaching. However, one thing to consider when regarding Jesus as a good and moral teacher is that some of his claims—if you take them at face value—are insane.

Consider that as a man he claimed to be equivalent with God and that the only way to reach fullness of life is believing him as Messiah. There’s also the claims of supernatural exploits, which most people disregard (and which you asked about). Yet, historical, extra-biblical accounts like the Jewish Talmud said he was killed for practicing sorcery. Buddha, on the other hand, never claimed to be God but a moral philosopher. Same with Mohammed, except he taught how to grow closer to God. The way in which you find full life comes through the principles they taught, whereas Jesus explicitly claims on he can bring fullness of life. Author C.S. Lewis, in the end, sums it better than I can in his book Mere Christianity when he states:

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

Storyteller | Combat wounded veteran | Metalhead | Designer | Bleeding on a page just makes it more authentic: https://benjaminsledge.com

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