Life, the Universe, and Everything, from the Outside In

Western Myth Number Five: That Jesus was "a great teacher."

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“Jesus was a great teacher.” The ultimate subject of all of Holy Scripture is Christ, and what He said and did doesn’t allow us that option. (We can debate whether Mohamed was a “great teacher” based on his teachings and his life. It’s not hard for most people to see that loving others on the same level as ourselves is a more godly approach than waging war on civilians in the name of one’s religion, but that seems to be changing.) C.S. Lewis said that Jesus does not give us the option of saying that He was a good moral teacher. A moral man would not make the claims that Christ made, of being in the Godhead before the days of Abraham, of having the power to forgive sins against God, or of having the power to die, and rise again, of His own will. Such claims would have to come from a liar, or a lunatic. A liar, though, would surely have changed his story when facing torture and death, and a lunatic could not have backed up his claims with such miracles (Remember, His miracles were so widely recognised by friend and foe alike that for the first several centuries afterward it wasn’t His divinity, but His humanity that was hard for people to comprehend!) “Which is easier,” He asked, “To say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk?'” At His word, the paralytic rolled up his mat and went home. The only option left us is that He truly is the Lord of Creation, and of life. How does that affect your life?


Written by Robert Easter

Wednesday, 6 August, 2008 at 17:38

8 Responses

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  1. There are many way of teaching; an example of life is one of them.


    Wednesday, 6 August, 2008 at 18:55

  2. Really true! Nowadays "Evangelicals" tend to avoid brining that up because some in the "Liberal" camp like to hold up the "Example" as if all we have to do / can do is to follow Christ's example and everything's hunky-dory. If we ignore His life, then don't we risk closing ourselves from the whole idea of obedience to the Father, & openness to the Spirit?

    Thanks for "chiming in!" Come on back anytime! 🙂


    Wednesday, 6 August, 2008 at 19:35

  3. I think the heresy is most apparent when we suggest (as the liberals are wont to do) that Jesus was merely a great teacher. If we think of a teacher in the best and most full sense, viz that a teacher “edifies,” then Jesus is the teacher par excellence, since no one can rebuild a man as Jesus can. This is His authority (“He does not teach as (the others) do…”) This is His Nature.


    Saturday, 9 August, 2008 at 20:34

  4. Exactly so, Fr. David! There are a lot of things He is, and since He is, then was and ever shall be, but it’s unusual to hear someone say, “Jesus was a great teacher,” except to try and limit Him to just that. (One of our theology texts, Coppedge’s Portraits of God, is awesome for reflections on the Lord’s various roles toward us!)


    Saturday, 9 August, 2008 at 21:38

  5. The ministry I work for recently had Leonard Sweet to be our speaker at our church’s General Assembly. He has a different take on this. When people tell him that “Jesus was the greatest teacher,” he first denies it. When they insist on it, he then asks them, “Then why don’t you preach and teach like he did?”


    Friday, 15 August, 2008 at 23:28

  6. Yeah, Don, that cinches it- I’ve gotta finish that book of his- Out of the Question, Into the Mystery. I’d like to have heard him- was thinking of running up there, but the summer prospecting trip kinda did a number on the billfold..!

    Thanks for stopping by, Brother! Folks, this guy has one of the very biggest and most fascinating sites on the Web!


    Friday, 15 August, 2008 at 23:40

  7. Robert, you are too kind.

    I review The Gospel According to Starbucks here. I actually got to take him to Starbucks!


    Saturday, 16 August, 2008 at 9:23

  8. Good read, Don. Really helps to contextualise this current squabble over “Emergence,” doesn’t it? I recall a young woman years back, a lovely Christian, and a staunch Presbyterian, who got away from following Jesus but assured herself that she “would never never let go of her doctrine!” Somehow she had missed that “believe” in Scripture implies “hold fast!” We’re not saved by believing in Christ, but through living in Christ! It’s joining in the dance, not just analysing the steps..!


    Saturday, 16 August, 2008 at 10:38

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