HAVE YOU EVER met a man who is the center of attention wherever he goes? Some mysterious, indefinable characteristic sets him apart from all other men. Well, that’s the way it was two thousand years ago with Jesus Christ. “The Jesus of the gospels, unlike the Jesus of religious sentimentalism, is both gentle and tough, witty and serious, stern and tenderhearted. The one thing the people who met him could not do was to stereotype him. He demolished all their labels and expectations, upset their attempts to pigeonhole him as a prophet, a wonder-worker, or a conventional rabbi.” But it wasn’t merely Jesus’ personality that captivated those who heard him. Those who witnessed his words and life tell us that something about Jesus of Nazareth was different from all other men. Jesus’ only credentials were himself. He never wrote a book, commanded an army, held a political office, or owned property. He mostly traveled within a hundred miles of his village, attracting crowds who were amazed at his provocative words and stunning deeds. While most great people eventually fade into history books, Jesus is still the focus of thousands of books and unparalleled media controversy. And much of that controversy revolves around the radical claims Jesus made about himself—claims that astounded both his followers and his adversaries. It was primarily Jesus’ unique claims that caused him to be viewed as a threat by the Roman authorities and the Jewish hierarchy. Although he was an outsider with no credentials or political power base, within three years, Jesus changed the world for the next 20-plus centuries. Other moral and religious leaders have left an impact—but nothing like that itinerant preacher from Nazareth. What was it about Jesus Christ that made the difference? Was he just a great man, or something more? These questions get to the heart of who Jesus really was. Some believe he was merely a great moral teacher; others believe he was simply the leader of the world’s greatest religion. But many believe something far more. Christians believe that in Jesus, God the Son, actually visited us in human form. And they believe the evidence backs that up [See Trinity article]. So, who is the real Jesus? As we take a deeper look at the world’s most controversial person, we begin by asking, could Jesus have been merely a great moral teacher?