“This is the course that I have adopted in the case of those brought before me as Christians. I ask them if they are Christians. If they admit it, I repeat the question a second and a third time, threatening capital punishment; if they persist, I sentence them to death. For I do not doubt that, whatever kind of crime it may be to which they have confessed, their pertinacity and inflexible obstinacy should certainly be punished…[those] who denied that they were or had been Christians I considered should be discharged…especially because they cursed Christ, a thing which, it is said, genuine Christians cannot be induced to do.” – Pliny the Younger, appointed governor of Bithynia c. 110 AD, in a letter to the Roman emperor Trajan
In Mark 8:22-25, Jesus heals a blind man – twice. Among all four Gospels, this is a unique healing account. But what was going on here? Why was the man unable to perceive objects clearly after Jesus touched him the first time? Did Jesus make a mistake the first time, thus necessitating a second healing?
Did Jesus ever claim to be the Son of God? This is a point of contention amongst Christians and non-believers alike. It has spawned countless novels, movies, and conspiracy theories. While it is easy to point to one of the writings of Paul or Peter to prove Jesus’ Divinity, some Christians wonder: what did Jesus himself have to say about…well, himself? Would he be content with being remembered as a prophet? A miracle worker? A wise teacher?
Is this a question that we can answer?