If we find it inconceivable that Jesus was a liar, then couldn’t he actually have mistakenly thought himself to be God? After all, it’s possible to be both sincere and wrong. But we must remember that for someone to mistakenly think himself God, especially in the context of a fiercely monotheistic culture, and then to tell others that their eternal destiny depended on believing in him, is no small flight of fancy but the delusions and ravings of an outright lunatic. Is it possible that Jesus Christ was deranged?
Today we would treat someone who believes himself to be God the same way we would treat someone who believes he is Napoleon. We would see him as deluded and self-deceived. We would lock him up so he wouldn’t hurt himself or anyone else. Yet in Jesus we don’t observe the abnormalities and imbalance that go along with such derangement. If he were insane, his poise and composure were nothing short of amazing.
Here is a man who spoke some of the most profound words ever recorded. His instructions have liberated many people in mental bondage.
Psychiatrist J. T. Fisher states,”If you were to take the sum total of all authoritative articles ever written by the most qualified of psychologists and psychiatrists on the subject of mental hygiene—if you were to combine them and refine them and cleave out the excess verbiage—if you were to take the whole of the meat and none of the parsley, and if you were to have these unadulterated bits of pure scientific knowledge concisely expressed by the most capable of living poets, you would have an awkward and incomplete summation of the Sermon on the Mount. And it would suffer immeasurably through comparison. For nearly two thousand years the Christian world has been holding in its hands the complete answer to its restless and fruitless yearnings. Here . . . rests the blueprint for successful human life with optimism, mental health, and contentment.”*1
Therefore, I cannot personally conclude that Jesus was a liar or a lunatic. The only other alternative is that he was—and is—the Christ, the Son of God, as he claimed.
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.Matthew 5:1-2
1. James T. Fisher and Lowell S. Hawley, A Few Buttons Missing (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1951), 273.
–Taken from More than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell