Lots of people like to think of Jesus in good terms, but is just saying good things about Jesus enough, C.S. Lewis wrote in his book "Mere Christianity," "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 said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic--on a 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."
One of Jesus' many statements of Himself as God is in John 8:56-59
"Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad."
So the Jews said to him, "You are not yet 50 years old, and have you seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am." So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
See "Link to External Source Article" below to read further.
This article is pointing out something that always rankles me, too...and that is when people are ready to acknowledge Jesus as a great teacher, but they refuse to acknowledge him as what he really is - not just the son of man, but truly the Son of God.
I suppose it is understandable in a way. The Bible texts reveal only this one instance where Jesus actually clearly claims to be a divine being; where he reveals himself as the great I-AM (see the reference in the article). But elsewhere, he also says that "he who has seen me has seen the Father," (John 14:9) which is also a very strong statement of his divinity.
Following Peter's confession that Jesus was truly the Son of God, Jesus said to the apostles (taken from The Urantia Book):
157:6.10 “No man in this world now sees the Father except the Son who came forth from the Father. But if the Son be lifted up, he will draw all men to himself, and whosoever believes this truth of the combined nature of the Son shall be endowed with life that is more than age-abiding.”
“We may not yet proclaim openly that the Son of Man is the Son of God, but it has been revealed to you; wherefore do I speak boldly to you concerning these mysteries. Though I stand before you in this physical presence, I came forth from God the Father. Before Abraham was, I am. I did come forth from the Father into this world as you have known me, and I declare to you that I must presently leave this world and return to the work of my Father.”
“And now can your faith comprehend the truth of these declarations in the face of my warning you that the Son of Man will not meet the expectations of your fathers as they conceived the Messiah? My kingdom is not of this world. Can you believe the truth about me in the face of the fact that, though the foxes have holes and the birds of heaven have nests, I have not where to lay my head?”
“Nevertheless, I tell you that the Father and I are one. He who has seen me has seen the Father. My Father is working with me in all these things, and he will never leave me alone in my mission, even as I will never forsake you when you presently go forth to proclaim this gospel throughout the world."
The time has arrived when the world really needs to know the whole story about Jesus; who he was, who he is, why he came here, and where he is today. Relying solely on the Scripture, we will hardly be able to reconcile this issue sufficiently, except by faith.
Don't get me wrong...I am all for the faith that accepts Jesus as the Son of God. It is just that a wary truthseeker may not be able to bridge that gap as easily through Scripture as s/he will be able to through revelational information.
It is for this very reason that The Urantia Book contains just such revelational material, especially in the area of the Life and Teachings of Jesus. For the past 20 centuries, the Bible has been the "last word" when it comes to the divinity of Jesus, and now comes a revelation of epochal significance that greatly expands, and validates the fact of Jesus' divinity. Not only that, but this modern-day revelation presents Jesus as he really IS, free from the dogma of traditional, institutionalized religions that have grown up ABOUT him. The revelation of Jesus through The Urantia Book truly lifts Jesus up as never before, for all the world to see
This idea of divine revelation is a new one for most people. The Bible supposedly warns believers that any information that is "added" to its teachings is categorically wrong and evil, and so, many people, when confronted with a new revelation of God, tend to become suspicious and end up rejecting revelational truth without even giving it a look. This is a reaction of fear...fear of truth, fear of God - as if God will punish a seeking soul for using his/her innate intelligence...as if the information contained in the Bible is all we'll ever know about God...as if God will never speak truth to us again. Many deny their own desire for truth for fear of being punished by God
Fear of God and his will is a primary problem in our world. If only people could see God in a new way, allow themselves to entertain a higher way of seeing God that is free of fear, and strong in love.
Jesus is that new way.
Jesus himself was a new revelation of divine truth over 2000 years ago. He came to reveal God's nature to mankind. When he said that those who see him, see the Father, he provided a spiritual liberation for those who seek truth; for those who labor under the illusion of fear of God.
What do we see when we look at Jesus and his life? Even in the narrow confines of Biblical texts, we see a loving, tolerant, forgiving, and devoted man who was willing to follow God's will even to the death. If we believe what Jesus said about God, then we can't help but alter our old ideas of a stern, judging, and vengeful Deity who means us harm. Jesus had none of these attributes - just the opposite.
Here is a link to a character study of Jesus. Keeping in mind his statement about seeing the Father through seeing Jesus, one can easily see that the time is ripe for a re-evaluation of God from a stern judge to a loving Father. One cannot appreciate Jesus without knowing who he really as and how he really acted throughout his life. This study will help you do just that. When we read these passages about Jesus, we are reading about God, and HIS character, too
And This link is another study about Jesus, but Jesus as most people have never known him - as the sovereign creator of our universe. Long before Jesus came to this earth, he had a life with God the Father in the celestial realms, and after his sojourn with us here, he returned to the overcare of his creation, where he remains to this day.
Far from being just another great teacher of truth, Jesus stands above all such attempts to categorize or minimize him and his impact on the world. Jesus truly is the I AM, truly is God, truly is worthy of love, devotion and allegiance. And the more we know about him and how he lived, the better we'll understand--and love--God himself.