One of the great writers of the 20th century was C. S. Lewis. He gave us The Chronicles of Narnia series, The Screwtape Letters and one of my personal favorites but rarely read, Pilgrim’s Regress. However, it is probably one of his most well-known works Mere Christianity that a statement of his has been mangled and mistranslated about Jesus being either “the Lord, a Lunatic or a Liar.” The actual statement that Lewis wrote about Jesus is the following:
“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. He did not intend to.”
Blunt. Plain. To the point. Lewis did not leave any wiggle room for who he thought Jesus to be; however, and in Jewish homes Jesus often exists as someone else – “the elephant in the room.”
But Jesus doesn’t have to be the unspoken guest in the room. In fact, Explore Messiah…? wants to discuss Him with you through three separate but connected issues:
- Did Jesus really even exist because there are some people out there who try to deny His existence … Seriously!
- What proof is there that Jesus truly rose from the dead because all of Christianity is banking on this idea after all (see 1 Corinthians 15 if you don’t believe me)? and
- Did Jesus actually ever claim to be the Messiah or was He just a really good guy?
Explore all three of the topics if you want or jump around to the one that intrigues you the most. And remember at any time, we are ready to discuss these thoughts with you at the CAFÉ Kehillah Discussion Board.