QUESTION : I'm a good person. Why do I need Jesus?
I thought you'd ask this one, Morry, because, as much as I don't want to feed your ego, everyone (including yourself) considers you a 'good person', a mensch.
I'm sorry, but I've got bad news for you - being 'good' isn't enough! If good works get you to heaven then how do you know you're good enough, where is the cut-off point? If that were true you can imagine the scene at Heaven's Gate, where the angel is turning away the hordes of good people who 'weren't quite good enough'.
This is not to say that you shouldn't be good, or that Christians don't strive for 'goodness' or 'holiness' but faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus is always the top priority.
Of course, it doesn't end there because, to follow the words of a New Testament writer, "What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?"
Christianity, I'm afraid, unlike other religions and even unlike some of the sects and cults that have sprung up from within it (such as Jehovahs Witnesses), puts the priority on faith in Jesus and what he has done for you rather than what you can do for him.
This is so "un-Jewish", you're probably thinking. We don't feel comfortable with something for nothing, we're a hard-working people.
Perhaps this has been a great barrier to Jews accepting Jesus as the Messiah? More than anything else, all he demands of you is faith, your good works come naturally as a consequence of this faith. It's that easy .... honest!