Introduction

W„ was Jesus? Few will dispute that a man named Jesus lived 2,000 years ago and that He was a great teacher who impacted the world from His time forward.

He made a claim that was breathtaking in its audacity—that He was the very Son of God. For much of His lifetime He commanded only a small following, people who believed that claim and considered Him their promised Deliverer and King. Many others later came to believe that He was the Son of God as a result of the testimony of those followers.

Yet during His time the religious authorities rejected Him as the Son of God. Many of His statements were so contrary to their teachings and traditions that they opposed Him and eventually succeeded in having Him put to death.

Likewise, the local Roman authorities also saw Him as a threat and became complicit in His execution, being the ones who actually carried it out. The religions of His day opposed the growth of His teachings and used unlawful and violent means to try to destroy the Church He founded. The government of Rome also came to vigorously persecute the followers of this Jewish teacher from Galilee.

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