by Ernest O'Neill

Was Jesus a Liar, Lunatic or Legend?

Program 51

What is the meaning of this life of ours? I mean, why are you alive? What's your life for? What is the purpose of it? Where are you going to? That's the kind of question we've been talking about on this program for several months now.

What we've concluded is that the only one who can give an authoritative answer to that is somebody from outside this life --- somebody who is outside of this closed universe in which we seem to find ourselves, someone who has come from outer space, or someone who has some kind of knowledge that is real of the Supreme Being, or the Force, or the Power, or whatever it is that originated this whole world and this whole universe and created you and me.

What we've been sharing, as you know, is that many human beings have claimed to tell us what it is all supposed to be in aid of, but we've had to admit that all of them were just like ourselves. They were just human beings. They were born here, died here and they never left the earth, as far as we are able to tell.

In fact, there's only one human being that has given any evidence that He left the earth and came back again, and that He had any remarkable relationship with the Supreme Being behind the universe. That is the person that is known as Jesus of Nazareth.

You remember, we've shared how His historicity is established, because of the carefully documented records that we have in the last quarter of the book that we know as The Bible. It's documented carefully by manuscript evidence that is superior to any we have for the existence of any of the other ancient figures like Julius Caesar, or like Plato or Thucydides. It is more carefully reinforced and more fully substantiated than any other history of the time. What we have been saying is that this amazing man seems to have a remarkable and unique relationship with the Maker of our world.

If you say to me, "Why do you say that?" Well, for one thing, He talked like the Son of God. Of course, what we said is that many people talk like the Son of God. Many people claim to be the Son of God (and they're all in psyche wards and asylums). But this man has no evidence of imbalance in His own life. He does not live like a lunatic. He does not behave like a lunatic.

He is regarded by all of us as the picture of the balanced, sane human being. He is looked up to as an example to follow. He is passed on by teachers to their pupils as the one whom they should imitate in their life pattern. So, He talked as if He was the Son of God, but He did not live like a lunatic. So, you can't just say, "Oh, He was a lunatic; he was a crazy man." He didn't live like a crazy man.

Well, maybe He was a liar? Maybe He just thought if He was the Son of God that He'd gain more fame and popularity for His teaching. But you can see that there is a deep ethical and logical impossibility in that statement, because we regard Him universally as the highest ethical and moral teacher the world has ever seen. We also regard Him as the foremost example of His own moral teaching.

Then, it's impossible to say that at the central point of His teaching, in the most important claim He made, (that is, that he was the Son of God), in the most important statement that He made (that is, about His own identity), He lied. It's a logical impossibility. It makes foolishness of our logic. It makes foolishness of every believer and non-believer, every sceptic and cynic, many of whom admire His moral life and His ethical teaching.

It is impossible to say, "But at the central point of His teaching He was a liar." It just makes foolishness of our language and our logic. Was Jesus a lunatic? He did not act like a lunatic. He did not talk like a lunatic. Was He a liar? He did not tell lies about any of the rest of the things in His life.


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