Only Three Possibilities – Lord? Liar? Lunatic?
Most people are ready to answer anyone who asks them about the hope they have in their favorite sport’s team. Often, they have great enthusiasm because of the team’s key players or the winning reputation of the team’s coach. Cooks and bakers are ready to tell everyone who wants to know how good their recipe is because they have used it many times with great success. We gladly share with others when they ask the reason for our hope in something or someone. Christians hope in God not themselves.
The celebration of Christmas Day finds Christians ready to share the joy of Jesus’ birth at Bethlehem. We readily proclaim Jesus’ resurrection and His victory over death at Easter. The scripture readings from the book of Acts during the Easter Season reflect hope. The hope His disciples expressed to those who questioned them about their faith in Jesus resulted in many of them also becoming believers in Jesus. They too began to share life-changing faith in Jesus.
The disciple Peter taught believers with these words, “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to answer everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15)
The disciples were not afraid to speak of Jesus of Nazareth. They proclaimed, “Let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, who you crucified, both Lord and Christ. (Acts 2:36) You disowned Him (Jesus), the Holy and Righteous One, but God raised from the dead. We are witnesses of this. (Acts 3:14-5) Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
Peter said that Jesus was the Christ (the anointed one), the Son of the living God. (Matthew 16:16) Jesus claimed to be God in answer to the high priest before the Sanhedrin. Jesus said, “I am,” when asked, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” (Mark 14:61)
The world has long debated concerning Jesus. Is He God/Lord? True or False! Either Jesus truly is God as He claimed to be and ought to be reverenced and worshiped as the Son of God, or Jesus is not God.
If Jesus was not God as he claimed, he must have been either a liar or a lunatic. If Jesus was a liar, he was an exceptional fraud deceiving countless people. A pretender who fooled others and continues to fool many.
If Jesus was a lunatic, he was delusional. He genuinely thought he was God, but he wasn’t. C. S. Lewis was the first to argue there are only three possibilities for Jesus – Lord? Liar? Lunatic?
In discussing who Jesus was or is, one cannot leave out God’s love for mankind in Jesus. It is no lie that all people sin in thought, word, or deed. The result of sin is death, but God sent Jesus to take the punishment of our sins on himself. God so loved the world that He sent Jesus, His Son, to save the world. Whoever believes in Jesus shall not perish but have life in his name now and eternal life in heaven. (John 3:16-18)