Summary: Who is Jesus?C.S. Lewis said is best, is Jesus Lord, Lunatic, or Liar?
• SLIDE #1
• SLIDE #2
• Mark 8:27–29 (NIV) Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”
• Jesus asks His closest disciples an important question, “Who do people say I am?” The answers varied from John the Baptist to one of the prophets. Jesus then turns to His disciples and asks them who He is, and of course Peter speaks up and proclaims that Jesus is the Messiah.
• As we dive into chapter 25 of The Story, we are faced with the all-important question, “Who Is Jesus?”
• The question reverberates through history about Jesus: “Who is this guy?” Peter, at Jesus’ bidding, walked on water.
• Peter helped feed over 5000 people. He saw Jesus whip the animals out of the Temple and chase out the money-changers. “Who is this guy?”
• C. S. Lewis was an Oxford medieval historian, popular writer, Christian apologist, and former atheist. He used the argument outlined below in a series of BBC radio talks later published as the book Mere Christianity. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis%27s_trilemma
• “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 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. 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. ... Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.” Lewis, C.S., Mere Christianity, London: Collins, 1952, p54-56.
• Lewis was not the first to make such arguments, but he is the one who is best known for it.
• This question is of the upmost importance because the way you answer this question will determine HOW you live out your life.
• Even if you are a Christian, how you answer this question will determine how deep you will allow your faith to go.
• Every thoughtful person has to raise and answer this question. Just as in Jesus’ day, there were various popular answers, so there are many answers in our own time. In The Story, let’s consider some of the answers to the question about Jesus, “Who is Jesus?”
• SLIDE #3
I. Jesus is a decent fellow. (Good teacher)
• This first possibility lines up with Lewis’ contention that many are willing to see Jesus as a good teacher, but nothing more.
• Many will acknowledge that Jesus was a decent fellow or a good teacher.
• Jesus had some awesome teachings that showed how we are to treat people, we have the golden rule, you know, he with the gold rules.
• SLIDE #4
• Matthew 7:12 (NIV) So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
• Jesus had a lot of great teachings and people pretty much loved to hear Him teach.
• But there is a problem, with just leaving Jesus in the “decent fellow/god teacher” box.
• Jesus made some claims that would take Him to a higher level than just a “decent fellow”.
• Jesus kept asserting that He was God. He kept referring to Himself as the “Son of Man”.
• Daniel used this term to refer to the coming Messiah.
• SLIDE #5
• Daniel 7:13–14 (NIV) “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.