v 15. Others said, “He’s the prophet Elijah.” Still others said, “He’s a prophet like the other great prophets of the past.”
Down the centuries, scholars and ordinary people have debated and argued about who Jesus really was. Volumes have been written in attempts to explain His life, define His character and evaluate His significance in world history. Even in His own lifetime there was no real consensus of opinion. His words and actions set Him apart as different and some Jewish leaders even advanced the idea that He was an agent of the devil! The response a person makes to Him is just about the most life-changing decision that can ever be made.
I would imagine you have encountered all sorts of opinions about Him, but the most heart-breaking one I have come across is total indifference. The attitude is ‘It’s OK for you to believe something about Him, but most Christians are simply hypocrites and I don’t really want to be associated with them or to think any more about Jesus. He is not really that important as far as I can see, so I don’t care.’ Even if that is not how it is expressed, that is the reality in a person’s life. They seem to get on fine – so what does it matter?
Was He just a prophet – a great preacher, great teacher, with plenty of high-flown ideas, but who met a sticky end at the hands of both Jews and Romans? Was He misguided about His own power, and thought He could change the world? Was He a romantic idealist who preached a message of love for all people – or a fiery herald of doom and destruction for all those who refuse to follow God’s way?
So much speculation, then and now, but what does the evidence suggest? Reading a book like the Gospel of Mark is to be faced with a mounting heap of evidence that points to the fact that He was uniquely different. Mark saw it all at first hand as a young man, and his unvarnished account, read thoughtfully, moves us away from misty speculation and into an area of light where we see Jesus for the God/Man that He was.
And then we discover what a huge difference He makes to our lives as we commit ourselves to following Him.
Jesus was a Man speculated about like no other.