This devotional was adapted from John Maisel‘s booklet “Is Jesus God?” Click here to receive a free PDF copy.
One day, Jesus asked some of His followers two questions:
- “‘Who do people say I am (Mark 8:27)?’”
- “‘Who do you say I am (Mark 8:29)?’”
Those two questions are our starting point. First, who does the world say Jesus Christ is? If you have already investigated Jesus Christ, you probably agree with most thinking people that Jesus is the most unique personality the world has ever known.
Jesus is not simply a great man among men; He’s the greatest man who has ever lived.
The more you study His life, the more you are impressed. Even atheists and skeptics acknowledge the uniqueness of Jesus. Listen to what the skeptics of the world have said about Jesus and His unparalleled contribution to human history.
Ernest Renan, the French thinker and atheist, has said, “Whatever surprises the future may bring, one thing is certain, Jesus will never be surpassed.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, another French thinker, compared Jesus with Socrates, saying, “If the life and death of Socrates were those of a sage, the life and death of Jesus were those of a God.”
Napoleon Bonaparte said, “I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ was no mere man.”
Lord Byron, the English poet, who certainly did not embrace Christian principles and died at the age of 26 because he lived his life only for his selfish pleasure, said this of Jesus: “If ever a man were God, or God were a man, Jesus Christ was both.”
So Jesus Christ, according to the skeptics and people who knew His life, is considered the most unique person who ever lived. Remember our question: Who does the world say that Jesus Christ is? Some people say that Jesus was a legend or a myth, that He never really existed.
Yet even secular historical sources such as Cornelius Tacitus, the Roman historian of the first century, speak in detail of the person of Christ. Flavius Josephus, a first-century Jewish historian, speaks of the life and death of Jesus and how He went about claiming to be the Messiah and performing great works. Skeptic H. G. Wells, in “The Outline of History,” devotes more than 20 pages to Jesus Christ, substantiating His life and death from a historical perspective.
Of course, in the Bible, we have four different detailed accounts of the life of Christ. I realize that many people question the Bible’s historical authenticity, but we must take care with remarks that are not based upon thorough investigation.
As a matter of fact, there is more secular evidence for the historical reliability of the four Gospels than for any other piece of classical literature.
If skeptics speak this way about Jesus Christ, how much more can we have confidence in saying He is the Messiah?
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John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.