Chapter 5: Jesus: Savior of His People
Most religions have reserved a special place for Jesus, whether He is considered a prophet, guru, or Messiah. Since divergent views contradict Jesus as He really is, careful consideration must be made. First, the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor that Jesus lived on this earth. While never abandoning His deity, Jesus humbled Himself and became a man who ended up experiencing grief, physical pain, and even a tortuous death on a cross. This atoning act provided forgiveness of sins for those who believe in Him. Every person must decide what to do with Jesus: Is He Lord, Liar, Legend, or Lunatic? Even for those who do not call Him “Lord” in this world, there will be a day of reckoning.
Discussion Questions Chapter 5
1. If the Jesus of Mormonism is different from the Jesus of the Bible, what is the implication? In other words, why is understanding the correct version so important?
It’s a game changer. Second Corinthians 11:4 says that having the wrong view of Jesus is worse than no Jesus at all. As this chapter described, there are four areas that must be considered when evaluating whether or not the correct version of Jesus is depicted: Origination, Incarnation, Personhood, and Purpose. These things must be considered when determining the biblical version of the Savior.
2. According to the Bible, Jesus was fully God and man. Why would it be wrong to say Jesus was merely half man and half God?
Such a caricature would create all types of problems. For one, this is not what the Bible teaches, as many verses make the claim that Jesus is fully God as well as fully man. A “half God” would be incapable of fully paying for the sins of believers. And a “half man” would mean it could not be said that Jesus became human like us and even experienced temptation (Heb. 2:5-18). As the Hypostatic Union teaches, Jesus is fully God as well as fully man.
3. What are some of the differences between Mormonism and Christianity concerning the origination and incarnation of Jesus?
According to Mormonism, Jesus was not always God but had to attain godhood. He only became a god through regular obedience. Christianity teaches that Jesus has always been God and will always be. It is in His DNA, if you will. In addition, LDS leaders continue to claim that Jesus is humanity’s spiritual brother in the preexistence. Although it is not a doctrine emphasized by church members, the idea that Jesus was literally procreated between a union of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother remains an important teaching. However, Christianity follows the biblical teaching that the Holy Spirit “overshadowed” Mary in a powerful yet nonsexual/nonphysical way.
4. Jesus is priest, prophet, and king. What is the significance of Him holding these offices?
As far as priest, Hebrews 9 says He entered into the heavenly Holy of Holies as a priest to offer up His own blood. Today, as our priest, the man Jesus is our mediator between God the Father and us. This is far better than a fallible human priest who must atone for his own sins before considering any work on the believer’s behalf.
For prophet, Jesus is far greater than the biblical prophets (Hebrews 1:1-2). And He speaks to us through the Spirit and the Word of God.
Finally, Jesus is King who will one day come to set up His eternal kingdom.
There is great power in the roles held by Jesus.
5. How do you respond to the claim that Jesus is a good moral teacher but nothing more?
As C.S. Lewis put it, Jesus never gave us the option to call Him just a “good moral teacher.” After all, if He wasn’t God in the flesh and just made that idea up, then He would be an immoral liar, which contradicts the claim of “good moral teacher.” If Jesus was self-deluded as some in insane asylums are, then He is a crazy man and would also not be worthy of worship. And if what was written about Jesus in the Gospels were mere fantasy to make Jesus look more majestic than He really was, why should anyone be obligated to worship a fantasy? While Jesus was certainly a moral teacher, He was so much more.
What did LDS leaders say about Jesus?
The Birth of Jesus
- Crash Course Mormonism: Virgin Birth
- Redefining the Virgin Birth
- Christmas Explained: The Incarnation (Short Video)
The Nature of Jesus
- Crash Course Mormonism: Jesus
- The Jesus of Mormonism
- Is the LDS Jesus different from what is taught in the Bible?
- The Relationship Between Jesus and Lucifer in a Mormon Context
- The Firstborn
- The Uniqueness of Jesus (Short video)
The Person of Jesus
- 10 Reasons Why the Jesus of Mormonism is Different from the Jesus of the Bible
- Was Jesus Married?
- Jesus’s Unique priesthood
- Why does the Mormon Church Ignore Jesus’ Role as Prophet of God’s Church?
- LDS Leaders speak more of Jesus
- The Uniqueness of Jesus (Short Video, 4:37)