“…we would like to see Jesus.”
In the mosaic of religious society today there are many different presentations of Jesus. Someone looking in from the outside might wonder which Jesus to consider. Also there might be the question of why there are so many differing theories of Jesus from which to choose.
An interesting book crossed my desk recently that was co-authored by a theologian and a psychiatrist. Fascinating things may happen when biblical scholars have people from other fields of study assist them in understanding the Bible. As I read the book I affirmed what the theologian said about the biblical witness to Jesus. When the psychiatrist added comments from his discipline I was amazed.
The psychiatrist, of course, is trained to recognize mental disorders and, hopefully, assist those with mental health problems. When the psychiatrist examined the behaviour of Jesus and studied Jesus’ spoken words he came up with an interesting conclusion.
It appears in the Gospels that Jesus was delusional from one perspective. The evidence for Jesus very clearly points to a man who assumed he was God and behaved accordingly. Jesus claimed to be able to do things that only God can do according to the Old Testament. For example Jesus forgave people their sins (Matthew 9:2). Only Jehovah was able to do that according to the Old Testament. Jesus put His teaching on a par with God’s teaching in the Old Testament (Matthew 5:21-48). Then Jesus also claimed to be the judge at the end of time (Matthew 7:21-23).
Further the words of Jesus explicitly indicate He was claiming to be God, for example John 5:16-18; 8:53-58. So by His works and His words Jesus very clearly made claim to be God. What can be done with such a person? Well, the psychiatrist who co-authored the book I refer to examined all the other actions and quotations of Jesus to see if in other ways He appeared to be delusional.
It is well understood in medicine that if one symptom of a mental disorder is found you will always find other symptoms that confirm the person is ill. The one symptom of Jesus possibly being mentally ill is His view of Himself as God. However when the psychiatrist I refer to above examined all the other words and behaviours of Jesus he saw a man who was clearly sane and sensible.
Jesus simply does not fit the picture of a delusional person who needs help in the form of shelter, food, and so on. Delusional people always show symptoms in other areas of life and Jesus does not. Thus, when Jesus calls suffering people to Himself and assures them that they will find rest and comfort in His presence (Matthew 11:28-30), He is able to do exactly that.
You cannot possibly have a more important consideration today than to ponder who this Jesus really is. For if He is who He claimed to be, and if He can do what He promises to do for seekers, then your greatest resource for handling life’s problems is found in Him.
Which Jesus? We call on our readers to recognize that God has invaded His creation in the person of Jesus. He has come to rescue His people from all of their sins and sorrows. He calls on everyone to receive the benefits of His work. Have you come to the One Who claimed to be God in words and works? See Him for Who He is and come to Him for what you need today. He waits to hear from you right now.