Jesus’ life and teachings are models of integrity and goodness. His acts of healing the sick, raising the dead, and demonstrating gentle love match His teachings on kindness, compassion, and morality. Jesus’ words matched His actions.
He said He was God. This claim was supported by His words and actions and the commitment of His followers.
C. S. Lewis once mused that there are only three reasonable options about Jesus’ identity:
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 patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.7
1. A Lunatic. If Jesus is not God, then He could be accused of having delusions of grandeur. Yet those who knew Him best recognized that Jesus’ claim to deity was not outlandish. It corresponded perfectly to whom He showed them He was, a reality the disciples were willing to die for.
2. A Liar. If Jesus is not God, then He was lying. In this case, He would have had to know that He was not who He claimed to be. This becomes increasingly difficult to accept the more one looks at His life. How could He, in every other instance, convey the essence of honesty and credibility if on this one major point He continued to lie? How could He deceive so many godly people if He were doing such an ungodly thing?
3. God. What Jesus said and what He did support this option. Jesus fulfilled the prophecies about the One who would be God on Earth. He displayed the attributes of the eternal God. He did things only God could do.
A lunatic can claim anything, but he can’t deliver. A liar can play amazing mental games, but he can’t prove anything he says. Jesus was born where the God-man was to be born, lived as the God-man should have lived, died as the God-man was to die, and lived again as only the God-man could.
What do you call Jesus? Only when you accept that Jesus is God can you come to Him as the source of life. Only as you trust God’s Word—not just in regard to Jesus’ life but also in regard to His deity—will you understand the importance of His death. Your eternal life depends on what you call Jesus. Who do you say He is?
7 C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity. HarperCollins Publishing, New York,
New York, 1980.