Sunday, August 12, 2007

How does Jesus stack up in cults and non-Christian religions?

Sometimes it is nice to take a step back and ponder why it is we believe what we do. For example, Christianity teaches that Jesus is God, however, every other religion teaches (if they speak of Him at all) that He is not. Mormonism says that Jesus is the brother of Satan (Lucifer) and that men can become gods; Islam teaches that Jesus (Isa) is a prophet of Allah, not the greatest (that would be Mohammed), and that God (Allah) is one (in both person and nature, so no Trinity); Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Jesus is the Archangel Michael; and Hinduism teaches that Jesus is one of millions of possible gods to worship at your discretion. Can all these religions "lead to the same path" and be indeed true? Obviously not. So, what does the Bible actually say about Christ's divinity? Mark 2:5-12 says, "And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, 'Son, your sins are forgiven.' But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 'Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?' Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, 'Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven'; or to say, 'Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk'? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins'--He said to the paralytic, 'I say to you , get up, pick up your pallet and go home.' And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, 'We have never seen anything like this.'" So, what's the moral of the story? Yes, Jesus could perform miracles of healing, but more importantly, the scribes recognized only God could forgive sins, so Jesus showed them that by the miraculous healing He was in fact also the forgiver of sins, God incarnate. If we add the often overlooked attestations by Christ's words and actions that show His divinity to the Gospel of John (written to the Gentiles that we may know that Jesus is God), it becomes impossible to deny this fact, that Jesus is the Christ, the one and only Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity.