Why Do Some Christians Believe Jesus Was Just a Good Teacher and Not God?

Jesus was indeed a moral teacher because He had all the qualities of a moral teacher. However, He is much more than that — He is our God and Savior who was sent down to earth by God the Father to give us the gift of Salvation.

Glory Dy
Chalk board, pencils, glasses, books

Although most Christians believe that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior and He is God, there are some groups that say otherwise. These groups argue that Christ is not God, rather, merely a moral teacher. A recent poll shockingly reveals that many Christians do not believe Jesus was God at all,

A majority of Americans and nearly a third of evangelicals say Jesus was a “good teacher” but was not God, according to a new survey for Ligonier Ministries that was conducted by LifeWay Research.

They acknowledge that Jesus was a good teacher and a very moral one who paved the way for a revolution during the time where immorality was rampant, but that’s it.

Let us try to understand their views as well as try to understand the difference between merely a moral teacher as compared to the true nature of Jesus.

For a person to be a moral teacher, he must have the following traits: Honesty, enthusiasm or avidity, ambition, and hard work, curiosity, and a sense of responsibility. Jesus has all these qualities, which makes Him, indeed, a moral teacher.

But there are things that a moral teacher cannot do. In this article, we will discuss those things in detail to argue that Jesus was not only a moral teacher but God, Himself.

Miracles

Forty accounts in the Bible show the miracles that were performed by Jesus. Five of the most popular miracles are:

1. The raising of the widow’s son

2. The feeding of the 5,000

3. The healing of a paralyzed man

4. The calming of the storm

5. Resurrection 

Let’s talk about Luke 7:11-17, as it is written,

Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out — the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”

Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.

They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.”

In this passage, we can read that Jesus performed a miracle by raising a child back from the dead directly, without hesitation, to the widow’s son and gave him back to his mother.

This account, among others, justifies that Jesus could perform what humans cannot perform without supernatural guidance, and that is to perform miracles. Yes, Paul and the other disciples have performed miracles but they had to be guided by the Holy Spirit to do this.

However, Jesus performed miracles directly because He could, and still does. He has the power over everything because He is God, as well as the Son of God the Father.

This tells us that Jesus is not only a moral teacher but a teacher that can also perform miracles when He needs to and when His believers ask, according to His will.

Resurrection

The most significant evidence of Christ’s divinity was when Jesus came down from Heaven, became human, and saved us from our sin. God’s promise was ultimately fulfilled with Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and ascension to heaven.

This sparked Christianity to spread all over the world, starting with His disciples, and then through Paul. It turned the tides of religion all over the world because it cleared the speculations of whether Jesus was God or not.

The central point of the entire ministry of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior and the Son of God is around the fact and not a speculation, that He rose from the dead, putting a period to the long-awaited prediction of His life in the Old Testament.

Prediction of Jesus’ Life

The life of Jesus, including his death and resurrection, was already prophesized in the Old Testament. All in all, there are 44 prophecies that Jesus Christ fulfilled:

A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken” (Isaiah 40:3-5).

Luke saw that this prophecy was fulfilled and recorded it in his gospel,

He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all people will see God’s salvation’” (Luke 3:3-6).

Another example is in Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

This prophecy was also fulfilled, and can be read in Matthew 1:23, “‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).”

The fact that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies from hundreds of years before is already a piece of great evidence that He is God — to save us from our sins. He was not merely a good teacher, but the promised Messiah.

Divinity and Spiritual Encounters

In Luke 24:30-34, as it is written,

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”

We read that Jesus revealed His divinity and spiritual presence. This was a very important moment for His believers during that time because they encountered, for the very first time, just who Jesus was, because Jesus showed Himself through the Holy Spirit.

Jesus was indeed a moral teacher because He had all the qualities of a moral teacher. However, He is more than that — He is our God and Savior who was sent down to earth by God the Father to give us the gift of Salvation.

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Glory Dy has been a content creator for more than 10 years. She lives in a quiet suburb with her family and four cats.


Originally published October 21, 2020.