I track another forum for a game that I sometimes play, and a comment was made that Jesus was almost certainly a humanist. Well, I did a little digging around, just to make sure that I actually knew what I was talking about, and found several definitions of humanism. And once again, I think it’s safe to say that Jesus was most certainly not a humanist. The basic definition of humanism posits that it is a rational philosophy that is free of supernaturalism where the basic values of life are determined from common human experience and culture alone. (That’s the really watered-down version.) See, the trouble with saying that Jesus was a humanist is that He doesn’t fit this definition in the slightest. Everything about Jesus was supernatural, from his birth to his earthly works and ministry right up to his death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. Furthermore, the values that He preached weren’t derived from human experience but from Godly dictates. At the most basic level, the difference between Jesus and the humanist philosophy is that Jesus was most focused on things in Heaven and in relation to the Father, and humanists are most focused on things on the earth and in relation to their fellow man.
I think that making this distinction is very important because of the differing emphases. Humanists believe in the power of Man to better themselves and the world, while Jesus (and hence all Christians) believed only in the power of God to save Men from themselves and to ultimately one day renew the whole of the universe for His pleasure.