Fifty years ago two great men died. Most remember this day as the day that John F. Kennedy died, but few remember that it also the day that C.S. Lewis died. C.S. Lewis authored many great books including Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Problem of Pain, The Weight of Glory, Surprised by Joy, The Great Divorce, the Chronicles of Narnia Series and many others.
In his book Mere Christianity, Lewis made the observation that many say that Jesus was a great moral teacher, but they don’t believe that he was the Son of God. I wonder if those who say these things have ever considered what Jesus said of himself:
- “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
- “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:25)
- “For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.” (John 5:21)
- “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:40)
- “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:44)
How can a man make the claims that Jesus made and be merely a good moral teacher? C.S. Lewis described how foolish it is to claim that Christ was nothing more than a good teacher when he wrote in Mere Christianity:
“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 patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
Was he a liar? Was he a lunatic? Was he the Lord of heaven and savior of the world? Those are the options that are open to us. Will you receive Jesus as savior? If not, your only option is to believe that he is a liar or worse.