I do think that Jesus had many good things to teach us. But I wonder if we can be selective about what we choose to accept and what we choose to ignore when we examine his teaching. Can we embrace his moral commands and ignore the one most profound thing he came to teach us? Can we accept all the secondary teachings while we reject his primary claim? Can we consider Him to be a good teacher and then ignore the most important thing He ever taught?
Yes, Jesus established the moral code that has been embraced (even unknowingly) by our culture, but more importantly, he told us that HE WAS GOD. And he told us that unless we believe in Him, our material death will also be our spiritual death:
The Jews gathered around him, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly." Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one."
"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
It seems to me that we can't have it both ways. We can't live as though we accept Jesus' teaching about life, love and the moral code, yet deny His teaching about who He is. We cannot embrace the teaching of a man if we find him to be a liar. We just can't have it both ways...
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