Lunatic, Liar or Lord?
C.S. Lewis, the author of the well-known children's book series, The Chronicles of Narnia, also wrote a book titled, Mere Christianity. In Mere Christianity, Lewis makes a profound logical argument.
"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: "I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg - or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse."
"You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."
Basically Lewis is stating the obvious. When one thinks about who Jesus was and is, only three choices are left to us: 1) He was crazy. Only a crazy person would make some the outlandish statements He made. 2) He was lying. He might or might not have believed His own statements about Himself, but regardless they were not true. 3) What He said was and is true and He is the Lord; God who came down to live on the earth in the flesh and who died on the cross for our sin.
Statements Jesus Made About Himself:
- John 10:22-28
22Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 24The Jews gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, 26but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.2
- John 14:5-11
5Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” 8Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” 9Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.3
This leads to the trinity; one God, three forms. God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), God the Holy Spirit. All are God. One God in three forms. One way to illustrate this concept is to think of water. The chemical makeup of water is H2O. Depending on the temperature water can exist as either a vapor, liquid, or a solid. All three forms are still water, H2O. So it is with God. Three forms, one God.
So who do you think He was and is?
1 C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity: A Revised and enlarged edition, with a new introduction, of the three books The Case for Christianity, Christian Behavior, and Beyond Personality (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1960), 40-41.
2John 10:22-28, NIV.
3John 14:5-11, NIV.