Summary: A basic exposition of the famous C.S. Lewis quote of Jesus being Lord, Liar or Luntic.
Harrison Christian Church ¡§Is Jesus really God¡¦s son?¡¨ Robbie Phillips [03/14/04]
1. Jesus had 12 disciples, yet notice he wasn¡¦t one of them...[As God is to Israel, so Jesus is to the Christians--[not a member of the group, He¡¦s forming it]
2. Jesus calls John the Baptist the ¡¥greatest man on earth¡¦, but refers to any member of His kingdom as greater. [What does Jesus think of His kingdom?]
3. Jesus tells the religious leaders, it¡¦s not what goes into a man that defiles him, but what comes out, basically setting aside huge portions of old testament scriptures. [What kind of person thinks he has the authority to set aside divinely inspired Jewish scriptures and replace it with his own?]
4. Jesus taught saying, ¡§Amen, I say to you¡¨ [Judaism required two witnesses to witness to a truth; Jesus says I¡¦m my own authority.]
5. Jesus used their term ¡§abba¡¨ when addressing God [Abba=daddy. And He taught his disciples to do the same. What kind of person can change the terms of relating to God?]
The list goes on;
6. Jesus claimed to forgive sins. Mark 2:10, 11
7. Jesus claimed the power to raise and judge the dead. John 5:25, 29 [and he raised the dead!]
10. Jesus Requested that we Pray in His Name and Obey His
11. Jesus insisted that ¡§no man comes to the Father, but by me¡¨
12. Jesus claims to be God. John 8:58
13. Followers recognized Jesus¡¦ claim to be God Mt. 16:16, JN
14. Enemies recognized Jesus¡¦ claim to be God. Mark 2:7, John
10:33, Mark 14:62-64
C. S. Lewis, who was a professor at Cambridge University and once an agnostic, understood this issue clearly. He writes:
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 a level with the man who says he is a poached egg or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the son of God: or else a madman or something worse. Then Lewis adds:
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 up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
Suppose that His claim to be God was false.
„Q He either knew it was false or He didn’t know it was false.
„Q If he knew it was false, he was a liar.
„Q If He was a liar, then He was also a hypocrite because He told others to be honest¡K
„Q More than that, He was evil, because He told others to trust Him for their eternal destiny.
„Q He would also be a fool because it was His claims to being God that led to His crucifixion.
„Q Many will say that Jesus was a good moral teacher. Let’s be realistic. How could He be a great moral teacher and knowingly mislead people. You would have to conclude He was a deliberate liar.
This view of Jesus however doesn’t coincide with what we know either of Him or the results of His life and teachings.
William Lecky, one of Great Britain’s most noted historians and a dedicated opponent of organized Christianity, writes: ¡§It was reserved for Christianity to present to the world an ideal character which through all the changes of eighteen centuries has inspired the hearts of men with an impassioned love; has shown itself capable of acting on all ages, nations, temperaments and conditions; has been not only the highest pattern of virtue, but the strongest incentive to its practice.... The simple record of these three short years of active life has done more to regenerate and soften mankind than all the disquisitions of philosophers and all the exhortations of moralists.¡¨
Historian Philip Schaff says: ¡§How, in the name of logic, common sense, and experience, could an imposter that is a deceitful, selfish, depraved man have invented, and consistently maintained from the beginning to end, the purest and noblest character known in history with the most perfect air of truth and reality? How could He have conceived and successfully carried out a plan of unparalleled beneficence, moral magnitude, and sublimity, and sacrificed His own life for it, in the face of the strongest prejudices of His people and age?¡¨