Christianity is primarily based on the tenet that Jesus Christ, its founder, is God Incarnate. How can a mere man be God? Is this claim nothing more than Christianity’s trump card? If they can substantiate their claim, are not all other religions inferior at best? Would it not mean that only Christian teachings, based on the words of Jesus Christ, come directly from God? Would it not compel you to determinedly follow those teachings rather than to ignore or reject them? But wait. Isn’t it more realistic to accept Jesus as simply the world’s greatest teacher?
In his book, Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis says, “No!” He reasons that if Jesus was merely a man, His repeated claims that He was God, He forgave sins, He always existed and He will judge the world at the end of time, could only come from either a lunatic or an outrageous liar. Even doubters accept that Jesus was not insane or a liar. If so, must He not have spoken the truth? But what could have motivated God to come to us as a man?
In the Meaning of Life Video Series, we argue that God wants us to love Him. If you accept that argument, must He not make Himself known to us without disempowering us by showing Himself or speaking to us directly? We expand on this thinking in Why Our Creator Keeps Itself Hidden From Us and Is Your Creator Awaiting a Response to its Constant Outreach.
Because He had to communicate with us, God’s first approach was to make Himself known by putting ideas directly into human minds so as not to disclose His overwhelming presence. It didn’t work. Even though the Old Testament prophets discovered He was doing this, they misinterpreted God’s unspoken messages. As a result, few of us accept what they recorded in the Old Testament as credible. God couldn't remain mute. To speak to us in words, without disclosing Himself, God had to come to us as the man, Jesus. Because God had to do this, and is capable of doing this, must He not have done this as Jesus claimed?
Still does the claim, that mankind has heard God speak directly to it, seem too good to be true? Does that alone make your doubt persist? Fortunately, much scholarly reasoning and evidence supports the reality that Jesus was God Incarnate. That the New Testament content is credible and reliably captured is established by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek in their book, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist. That Jesus’ miracles, that no mere man has ever done, were real is established in C.S. Lewis’ book, Miracles. That Jesus’ was resurrected, which no mere man has ever experienced, is substantiated in Lee Strobel’s book, The Case for Christ.
So where does all this leave us on the question, “How Can a Man be God?”. Because God had to come to us as a man and is undeniably capable of doing this, must He not have done this? Is our assurance, that Jesus’ miracles, that no mere man has ever performed, were reliably reported and are convincingly explained not evidence that God did this? Is the evidence that Jesus was resurrected, as no mere man has ever experienced, not even more convincing evidence?
One final word. The claim that Jesus was God Incarnate does not disenfranchise any other religions or beliefs about our creator. Our creator comes to each of us in different ways. The claim merely establishes that Jesus’ teachings are God’s way of coming to us by speaking directly to us.