Jesus Himself once asked His disciples 'Who do men say that I am?'. There is no more significant question than this one. An accurate, heart felt, faith-filled, revelation based answer insures eternal life. Simon Peter answered, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God'. Upon that revelational rock the Lord built and continues building His church, His earthly governmental called out ones empowered with the keys of the kingdom, of which the gates of hell will not prevail.
Some of the great men of history, as well as some lesser known men and even unidentified ones have made remarkable observations about Jesus of Nazareth. Albert Einstein, old 'E=MC squared' himself said:
"As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene....No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life."
'No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus'. Albert's words sound like he may have truly known the 'luminous figure of the Nazarene'! However, by his own admission Einstein did not believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God in the sense that one would who had saving faith, but could not but recognize the uniqueness of His person. Complicated huh? Such was Albert Einstein. From interviews and reports Einstein did not believe in a personal God, (to simplify: couldn't get by the reality of evil being in the world a personal God would create).
Napoleon Bonaparte bounded through history as few men ever have. Born on the Island of Corsica a year after France absorbed it from Italy, Napoleon attended religious and military school in France where he trained as an artillery officer. Through courage, guile, political savvy, opportunism, luck, and political savvy, he became Emperor of France and involved every nation in Europe in major wars in his 51 short years. Here's what he said about Jesus:
"I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creation of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him."
Napoleon identified Jesus as 'no mere man' who built 'His empire on love' for whom 'this hour millions of men would die'!
Peter Larson makes one of my all-time favorite statements about Jesus:
"Despite our efforts to keep him out, God intrudes. The life of Jesus is bracketed by two impossibilities: "a virgin's womb and an empty tomb". Jesus entered our world through a door marked,"No Entrance" and left through a door marked "No Exit."
Over the years some people with whom I have discussed the divinity and claims of Jesus have admitted that He is a brilliant historic figure but won't accept His claims of being the Son of God. Of this conclusion C.S. Lewis remarked:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
Sholem Asch commented much in the same vein as Lewis:
"Jesus Christ is to me the outstanding personality of all time, all history, both as Son of God and as Son of Man. Everything he ever said or did has value for us today and that is something you can say of no other man, dead or alive. There is no easy middle ground to stroll upon. You either accept Jesus or reject him."
John Knox the great reformer said:
"No one else holds or has held the place in the heart of the world which Jesus holds. Other gods have been as devoutly worshipped; no other man has been so devoutly loved."
From unknown sources we find:
"Buddha never claimed to be God. Moses never claimed to be Jehovah. Mohammed never claimed to be Allah. Yet Jesus Christ claimed to be the true and living God. Buddha simply said, "I am a teacher in search of the truth." Jesus said, "I am the Truth." Confucius said, "I never claimed to be holy." Jesus said, "Who convicts me of sin?" Mohammed said, "Unless God throws his cloak of mercy over me, I have no hope." Jesus said, "Unless you believe in me, you will die in your sins."
Simon Peter said of Him: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God". We need to know Him.