Image of plastic JesusWas Jesus just a very bad person?

If Jesus is not mad then he must have known what he was claiming was amazing. Either he was right to make the claim or perhaps he was simply trying to manipulate people so he could exploit them.

But let's look at the evidence.

Bad people who exploit others do so for personal gain. This gain might be in wealth or in power or just for popularity.

Was Jesus wealthy?

Not in a financial way. It is true that he never seemed to lack money but then he only really owned the clothes he stood up in. Any money he was given was used to help others.

Was Jesus popular?

For a short period he was - crowds came to hear him speak. Yet this soon went wrong and within a short time people were crying out for his execution. They wanted him executed because he claimed equality with God.

Just when he seems to have pulled of his greatest triumph (resurrection) he disappears from view.

Was Jesus powerful?

In an earthly sense he was not. It is true that he claimed to be a King with a kingdom but these were not in the world (according to Jesus). There are times he could have claimed the throne of Israel but he never does it. When he is crucified even his closest followers run away.

Does Jesus ever show a dark side? Does he come across as an evil manipulating person?

What evidence is there?

 

  • The miracles he performed
    Jesus never performs a miracle for his own personal gain. He only ever does it to help people and to confirm a point he is making in his teaching.
  • His desire to serve others
    Although Jesus claimed to be God he never demanded worship or service from anyone. In fact he says he has come as a servant and demonstrates how he thinks about things by washing the feet of his disciples.

All the evidence we have - even from his enemies - points to Jesus being a kind and loving person. Jesus was not bad.

The Lord ate from a common bowl, and asked the disciples to sit on the grass. He washed their feet, with a towel wrapped around His waist - He, who is the Lord of the universe! - Clement of Alexandria

I believe the weight of evidence is overwhelming. All the things that Jesus said about himself and the witness of those who knew him firsthand tell us that Jesus is indeed divine.