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.
This Lent we are looking at the nature and person of Christ. Some of you have heard people say that they like Jesus’ teachings and felt he followed his own teachings and was good person, but cannot hold him up as the Messiah, the Son of God. In the quote above C.S. Lewis brings up a good perspective. If we say that we believe that Jesus was a good moral teacher, lived what he taught, and was an all-around good guy, then it is inherent in his character that Jesus would not lie.
Well Scripture recounts for us many of Jesus’ words, with some translations even putting them in red for us to easily find. Let me share some of these words with you, some of which you have probably heard before, but bear with me.
In John 14:6-7 Jesus says, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’” Then a bit later Jesus reaffirms this assertion in John 14:9 as he says, “Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.’”
Therefore, if a person believes that Jesus was a good moral teacher and lived what he taught and we have proof that Jesus taught he was the Messiah, and since a good moral teacher would not lie, Jesus must be the Messiah. This is why C.S. Lewis said Jesus must be a lunatic, lair, or Lord.
More than what we believe, more than what this little logic problem reveals, we all have a choice to make. If we want to say that Jesus was the Messiah, if we want to call ourselves his disciple, then we must show it by more than our words. Our lives, our living witness, everything we say and do must bear it out. To be a Disciple of Christ means more than just studying his teachings, it means we adopt his lifestyle. It means we love God, we love others, we seek to bring unity and harmony, we never strive to stir up divisiveness, we are quick to listen and slow to anger, we allow people to clearly see the image of God imprinted upon our soul.
As we are getting closer to Easter, I pray you are finding strength as you continue to look inward, bearing all you are to God. I pray you have found consistency in asking the tough questions about where you are on your faith journey. I pray this Lenten season is bearing fruit for you as you seek to make changes where necessary to be that Disciple of Christ for which we have been called. We have a very real opportunity to change this world, to change this community, all in the name of Christ. I want us to grab it with both hands, hold on tight, and see all the glorious things God and can and will do through us!
Have a great week and I will see you Sunday!