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 of 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 was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool 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. Mere Christianity by C.S. LewisJesus is a hard guy to figure out. I mean, who is this guy who goes around blasting the religious establishment, heals lepers and Samaritans, and hangs out with so-called sinners?
He says God sent him, that he comes from heaven. He claims he is the Son of Man. He claims he is the one they have all been waiting for.
But is he really? Everyone wants the free food he hangs out at large gatherings. Sick people definitely want him to heal them. Blind people hope to see. So he must be good, right? It's not good to ask too many questions.
At the Feast of Tabernacles, people looked for Jesus, and since they can't find him, they talk about him instead. Quietly. Just in case the Pharisees are listening.
He's a good man, they say.
He can't possibly be a good man--he's lying when he says he comes from God.
Wow! He knows lots of stuff.
That's because he's demon possessed.
Maybe he's a Prophet.
Maybe he's the Messiah, the one who's going to deliver us from the Romans.
Who does Jesus say he is?
- I am the good shepherd.
- I am the light of the world.
- I am the bread of life.
- I am the way, the truth, and the life.
- I am the resurrection and the life.
And what does he say about himself?
- I am from my Father--he sent me.
- Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.
- I'm going back to the one who sent me.
- Streams of living water flow from within me.
- I am from above.
- If anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.
- Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.
But this is all academic. We can study what Jesus says all day long, for several days, all year long, and at some point, we have to figure it out. Who is Jesus?
Is he God? Really? Is he our deliverer? Our healer? Does he speak words of truth that come directly from God? Or he is, as C.S. Lewis so aptly puts it, a madman "on the level of with a man who says he is a poached egg"?
If he's God, if God really sent him, we need to pay close attention to what he says and follow him carefully.
If he's not, then there's no use pretending that he's a good man. Clearly he's crazy or worse.