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INSIGHT INTO BIBLE TRUTH #228
formerly "Insight into Bible Prophecy"
Executed -- Deluded, Deceiver, or Deity?
by David Vaughn Elliott

He was stirring up the masses, making wild claims. The chief priests tried to stop him, but the arresting officers, captivated by his teaching, returned empty handed (John 7:32-48). One day, one of his disciples agreed with the chief priests to deliver him into their hands (Matt. 26:14-15). In the darkness of night, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, Judas betrayed his master with a kiss. Jesus did not resist the arrest. He knew his time had come (Matt. 26:47-56).

During the trial, the high priest asked: "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" Jesus not only replied in the affirmative, but added: "You shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven" (Mark 14:61-64). That was it. The high priest declared Jesus had blasphemed. The council agreed and took him to Pilate, saying: "We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God" (John 19:7).

JESUS CLAIMED
He came down from heaven...............John 6:38, 51
He is the Christ, the Son of God..........Matt. 16:15-17
His blood gives forgiveness of sin.......Matt. 26:28
He is the only way to the Father..........John 14:6
He will return in glory with angels........Mark 8:38

Ought to die? What was going on? Those religious authorities clearly understood that Jesus was claiming deity, and they absolutely rejected it. To them, Jesus was a blasphemer, and their law stipulated death (Lev. 24:16). Who was right -- Jesus or the clergy? Was Jesus Deity, or was he a blasphemer, either lying or deluded?

PROOF OF HIS CLAIMS
Miracles he worked.....Luke 5:18-26; John 20:30-31
Prophecies about him fulfilled.....Luke 24:44-48; Acts 13:27-38
Prophecies by him fulfilled.....Mark 10:33-34
      (this one fulfilled in A.D. 70).....Luke 21:5-6

The Jews were divided. Some insisted he had a demon and was insane, out of his mind. Others countered that a demon could neither talk nor work miracles as Jesus did (John 10:19-21). All these people understood the issues. What about you?

Was he deluded, or was he really deity in flesh? If Jesus was deluded, it doesn't mean he was bad; but it does mean we should not entrust our lives to him.

Or was Jesus a liar, deliberately deceiving people? Understand that you cannot claim that Jesus was a great moral teacher if he was lying about being the Son of God. No good moral teacher in his right mind would make such a claim if he was only a human being.

Those are the choices the Jews faced; and they are the choices we all face today. Was Jesus deluded, a deceiver, or deity? There is no middle ground. To view Jesus as one of the world's greatest teachers of high moral standards, but not the divine Son of God, is in itself a delusion. It is dodging the issue. If you have not, why not examine his claims for yourself. Jesus loves you so much he was crucified for you. Is he Lord of your life? I hope so.
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