Christian History Project. This site contains the text of 12 volumes on the history of mankind over the last 2,000 years written from a 'collectively-denominational' Christian perspective.

11. About Jesus / Mount of Olives |
Madman or God?

This is a continuation of the tenth segment (Is Jesus God?) of Chapter One on Jesus of Nazareth entitled Madman or God?. It is from Volume One, The Veil is Torn, of the twelve-volume historical series: The Christians, Their First Two Thousand Years. This section of the chapter further illustrates how Jesus repeatedly claims to be God.

From the Mount of Olives Jesus asks: “How often have I sent you prophets?”

“Why,” he is asked, “do your followers not fast?” Fasting, denying one’s appetites to honor God, has always been a requirement under the Law. “The wedding guests,” he replies, “do not fast when the bridegroom is with them.” Pardon? Fasting is decreed by the Law. Only God, who gave the Law, could suspend the Law. The implication is indisputable. He’s saying he’s God.

He looked out on the Mount of Olives from Jerusalem. “How often,” he observed, “have I sent you prophets.” So it has been he who all along has been sending the prophets! Then came this repulsive suggestion of some sort of cannibalism. Unless you eat his body and drink his blood, he proclaimed, you have no “life” in you. What on earth could that mean? Small wonder that sensible people vowed to have nothing more to do with him after that sort of proclamation.

No prophet ever spoke as he spoke. Nor did even the great teachers of the Greeks, nor the prophet they call Buddha. They all said, “This is the way you should live. This is the Truth about God. This is the life you should lead.” This man said, “I am the Way. I am the Truth. I am the Life.” What sane person could talk like this?

And then came his outrageous pronouncement within the precinct of the Temple itself. “Before Abraham was,” he announces, “I AM.” It’s the very name of God, the name the mere mention of which calls for the death penalty, and he applied it to himself. But he always cleverly relies on the element of shock. By the time his hearers recovered from this ghastly assertion and quite properly took up stones to rid themselves of him, he had slipped through the crowd and gone.

From what his intimate followers say, it got worse. “Show us God and we shall be satisfied,” said one of them, and the man replied: “Have I been with you all this time, and you don’t know who I am? The man who has seen me has seen God!” Totally deranged, obviously. Utterly possessed. Servant of Satan. But fortunately, these assertions had by now become so commonplace that the high priest Caiaphas was able to use them to put a swift end to the problem. Or so he thought.

To continue reading from The Christians, Their First Two Thousand Years, Volume One — The Veil is Torn, Chapter One on Jesus of Nazareth entitled Madman or God? and would like to proceed to the next section on Gethsemane.