Liar, Lunatic or LORD
12.21.15 I haven't heard this song in a while and then yesterday Mike said who is Jesus to you? Liar, Lunatic or Lord? I don't know about you but He is Lord to me.
In his famous book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis makes this statement, "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 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.
Jesus could only have been one of four things: a legend, a liar, a lunatic--or Lord and God. There is so much historical and archeological evidence to support his existence that every reputable historian agrees he was not just a legend. If Jesus were a liar, why would he die for his claim, when he could easily have avoided such a cruel death with a few choice words? And, if he were a lunatic, how did he engage in intelligent debates with his opponents or handle the stress of his betrayal and crucifixion while continuing to show a deep love for his antagonists? Christ said he was Lord and God.
John 8:28-29 "So Jesus said, 'When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know who I am and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.'"
John 8:46-47 "Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God."
John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me."
Matthew 11:27 "All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."
Jesus claimed to have pre-existed the people he spoke with. The apostle John--who shared bread with Jesus--wrote that Jesus was with God in the very beginning, and that "all things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being." (John 1:1-5)
John 17:5 "And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began."
Luke 5:20-21 "When Jesus saw their faith, he said, 'Friend, your sins are forgiven.' The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, 'Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?'"(emphasis: web author)
Luke 7:48-49 "Then Jesus said to her, 'Your sins are forgiven.' The other guests began to say among themselves, 'Who is this who even forgives sins?'"
John 18:36-37 "Jesus said, 'My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.' 'You are a king, then!' said Pilate. Jesus answered, 'You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.'"
John 10:28-30 "I give [my followers] eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one."
Luke 18:31-33 "Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, 'We are going up into Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.'"
Matthew 24:27-30 "So as the lightening comes from the east and flashes to the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man... At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory."
“Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15)
Was he a liar? If Jesus made his claims knowing he wasn’t God, then he was lying to his followers. If he was a liar, he was also a hypocrite-a guy who told others to be honest even while he taught and lived a colossal lie.
That view of Jesus, however, doesn’t jive with what we know of Jesus or the results of his life and teachings. Whenever Jesus has been proclaimed, lives have been changed. Nations have repented. Thieves have gone straight. Alcoholics have tossed their bottles. Hateful individuals have become channels of love. Someone whose life had results like that couldn’t have been a phony.
Was he a lunatic? If someone told you he was God, you would believe him about as much as if he said he was Santa Claus. You would call him one deluded and self-deceived dude. Yet Jesus didn’t display the abnormalities and imbalance that usually go hand in hand with being crazy. Jesus was a guy who spoke some of the most profound words ever recorded-words that have set free many individuals, even some in mental bondage. Jesus Christ was no lunatic.
Was he Lord? If Christ isn’t a liar or a lunatic, you only have one option: He is who he claimed to be-the Son of God.
The issue with these three alternatives isn’t which is possible. Any of the three could be possible. The question is instead, which is more likely? Nailing down the identity of Jesus Christ can’t be an intellectual exercise. You can’t put him on the shelf while calling him a great moral teacher. That isn’t a valid option. If he was so great and so moral, then what do you do with his claim to be God? If he was a liar or a lunatic, then he can’t qualify as a great moral teacher. And if he was a great moral teacher, then he is much more as well He is either a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord God. You have to make the choice.
You have two resources to help you make that choice rightly. One is the historically credible record of Christ’s rising from the dead. The other is the Bible. Giving you solid reasons to believe is a huge reason God gave you his book. As John wrote, “These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life” (John 20:31).
So who do you think Christ is-liar, lunatic, or Lord?
Lord I come to You thanking You for being who You are. You are Lord to me, and You are all I need. I know You are always right there with me through the good times and the bad times. Lord please be with my facebook family and friends and know I love You. I ask these things in Jesus Name Amen.