Yesterday we considered Jesus’ question, “Who do PEOPLE say that I am?” We noted that there has always been a wide variety of opinions about Jesus’ identity.
Today, let’s look at an even more important question from Jesus: "Who do YOU say that I am?" (Matt.16:15)
The question is highly relevant for us today. There are many opinions about the ‘real Jesus’, but what do YOU think? There is no that doubt Jesus lived in ancient Palestine back in first century. There is more evidence for the life of Jesus Christ than there is for the life of Julius Caesar. But who was this Jesus?
New theories attempt to bring Jesus down to our level, making him more human OR they seek to lift us up to his level, making us more divine – as equals with Jesus.
Jesus clearly claimed to be God. He saw himself as equal with the Father God, he forgave people of their sin, and he claimed divine authority. That is why he was crucified.
You can’t say that Jesus was … just an ethical teacher, a wisdom guru, a miracle-worker, or a social reformer. Jesus claimed to be God. That claim forces us to make a decision. As C.S. Lewis declared, Jesus is either a liar, a lunatic or he really is Lord of all.
Jesus’ claim to be God – was this TRUE or FALSE? If false, he either knew it was false or he didn’t. If false, he must have been a LIAR, deliberately misleading multitudes. Or, he was LUNATIC, sincerely believing he was God, when he wasn’t.
Was Jesus a LIAR? Consider his brilliant moral character and his willingness to die for this claim. This option doesn’t make sense.
Was Jesus a LUNATIC? Consider his humility, his warmth, his unselfish love, his quick thinking under pressure from his opponents, his intelligent communication, his amazing self-control and composure under intense physical pain and the emotional stress of betrayal and then crucifixion. He was a man in contact with reality. This option doesn’t make sense either.
The only other alternative is that His claim is true. Jesus really is God and Lord of all.