Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?” (John 8:46)
Jesus was unconventional in so many ways, but never more than in his claim to be sinless. It is audacious. It is something the gospel writers would not have chosen if they were merely inventing Jesus. It was an unnecessary risk.
It strikes me that relatively few skeptics ever touch this subject in any meaningful way. It is easier to switch gears and deny his historicity, or to deny the authenticity of the gospels (evidence abounds for both). Or, they dismiss it as something he didn’t actually say, or simply fail to address its magnitude.
(Ironically) The irony of the claim is also neglected. Jesus is regarded as uncommonly humble, but at the same claiming to be God’s perfect gift to the world (John 3:16-17). How? Who else could get away with this?
Some say Jesus could not sin because he was Divine, but this denies what the Bible says about his humanity. His human nature was real; it is perhaps perpetual (1 Timothy 2:5). He was tempted, as a man, and he did not succumb (Hebrews 4:15).
This – Jesus’ claim to be sinless – is the straw that breaks the camel’s
back credibility. No one builds a house out of sticks. Jesus’ claim of sinless perfection should have been blown down by the big, bad wolf long ago. Yet, here it is.
Of course, if Jesus is a sinner, he is without question the worst of them all.
If he is sinless, then he is the Divine Savior, and Eternal Judge of all men.
Here we are, 2,000 years later. The invitation to call him a sinner still stands.
Who will cast the first stone?