Not the most modest self-assessment one could imagine ! The only serious competitors I know are Mohammed Ali (“the Greatest !”) and Donald Trump (with the “very big brain”).
STOP PRESS !
Hold on, esteemed reader, dear friend : why are you screaming Bloody Murder ? Oh, I see : bringing Jesus down to their level ! Well, no. In fact, Jesus is putting Himself way above Ali and Trump. And so He should, you say : after all, He is God ! Moreover, you go on, He really was and is the very opposite of arrogance. He allowed Himself to be born in a stable, the child of penniless parents. He was a humble carpenter. He had nowhere to lay His head. And, above all, though totally innocent, He allowed Himself to be tortured and flogged and crucified by sadists whom He could have zapped the way He did those pigs He sent tumbling over a cliff. Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life, was simply saying He wanted to give us the unique road-map we need for our journey through life on our way to Heaven.
That last metaphor, the road-map, I have borrowed from a dear friend of mine, who happens to be a priest, and who told me that the fundamental reason he is a Christian is precisely that : Jesus is the only hero in history to offer us such a map for the road to Heaven. Over a billion Catholics agree with him, not counting all those other Christians today and throughout history who saw Christ as their Lord and Savior, the Good Shepherd leading His flock through life and beyond death into eternal bliss.
It is true that the Gospels portray the Man as a charismatic Leader and Liberator, Model and Messiah. His very name, Jesus, means “Savior”. He is, however, not alone in offering us the hope – for true believers, the certitude – of salvation and eternal life. But even Mahomet cannot compete with the gentle Jesus (provided we forget His terrifying threats of Hell . . .). Of course, such faith in Jesus presumes not only that He existed, but that He actually proved He was the Son of God by His miracles and especially His Resurrection from the dead.
If you are comfortable with all that, fine. I am not. I have the conviction that people have been conned into believing in a Superhero who makes Captain Marvel and Superman look like amateurs. Neither they nor any real heroes in human history raised people, including themselves, from the dead, ascended into Heaven and left us the road-map we need, as well as the necessary keys, to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. It would be nice if all this were true. But as Bertrand Russell pointed out, there’s just not enough evidence for any of it. Believe it if you like. I personally prefer not to live in a world of make-believe. I have decided to make the most of the only life I’ll ever have, without the vacuous visions and the pretty pipe-dreams of the terminally credulous.