Lord, Liar, Lunatic?

I and the Father are one. — John 10:30

On a flight, the woman seated next to me saw me reading the Bible. She was curious and asked me pointblank if I really believed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. I replied that I indeed believed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. Then she asked, “Isn’t it difficult for you to intellectually believe such a preposterous statement as Jesus being God’s only Son?”

My reply went something like this: “In the Bible Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God. Since Jesus claimed equality with God, that leaves me with only three options. He was either a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord who He claimed to be.” Well, she didn’t like any of those options. She said she believed Him to be “a great teacher of faith in God, but not equal to God.” But I replied, “He didn’t leave that option open for us. He said He was equal with God. He either lied about that statement, and was deceitful, or He actually believed He was God but was crazy, or else He really was God. There are no other options.” The woman made no reply, but it appeared that she was doing some serious thinking.

I like what C.S. Lewis writes about this subject: “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 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.”

Then Lewis adds, “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 up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”*

1. John 10:30 states that Jesus and the Father are one. Do you find this statement difficult to believe? Why or why not?

2. Today are you living as if Jesus is the Lord of your life?

John 17:21-23

* C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: MacMillan, 1960), p. 56

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Jim Burns

Jim Burns is the president of HomeWord. He speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has close to 2 million resources in print in 20 languages. He primarily writes and speaks on the values of HomeWord, which are: Strong Marriages, Confident Parents, Empowered Kids, and Healthy Leaders. Some of his most popular books are: Confident Parenting, The Purity Code, Creating an Intimate Marriage, Closer, and Doing Life with Your Adult Children. Jim and his wife, Cathy, live in Southern California and have three grown daughters, Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi; three sons-in-law, Steve and Matt, and Andy; and three grandchildren, James, Charlotte and Huxley.

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