Although raised in a Christian home, C.S. Lewis became an atheist at the age of 15. Years later he was brought back to faith in Jesus and went on to be one of the most influential Christian writers of his day. In his book “Mere Christianity” he made the following observation about who Jesus is:
“A man who is 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. You can shut Him up as 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.”
Many people try to claim that Jesus was a great preacher and teacher, but nothing more than that. Yet, as C.S. Lewis points out, Jesus did not leave that open as a possibility. Jesus has to be either a liar, a lunatic, or as he claimed to be: Lord and God.
If you reject that Jesus is true God and Savior of the world, you cannot call him a great teacher. You must call him either a liar or a lunatic. For after all, think about some of the things that Jesus said concerning himself: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16-17). Or as Jesus spoke at the end of Matthew’s Gospel: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
Looking at Jesus’ words, C.S. Lewis came to the following conclusion: “This man we are talking about either was (and is) just what He said or else a lunatic, or something worse. 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. God has landed on this enemy-occupied world in human form.”
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