Life Tip #60

He is who He says He is.

This Life Tip comes from an interesting case made by C.S. Lewis, when he put forth the idea that Jesus must either be who he says he is, or he must be a lunatic that needs to be locked up.

Lewis points out in his book Mere Christianity that a lot of people say they can accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but they cannot go so far as to accept Jesus’ claim that he is the son of God. Lewis argues that to make that statement, and to hold that belief about Jesus, is simply impossible. He reasons that anyone who claims to be the son of God, or that he will rise from the dead, should be locked up in an insane asylum. And if that’s the case, how could anyone who is deemed a lunatic at the same time be hailed as a great moral teacher? Great moral teachers cannot at the same time be lunatics. The two don’t go together.

Lewis summarizes his argument by adding, “Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse…But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.”

We cannot say that Jesus was a great moral teacher, a great philosopher on the one hand, but then ignore that He said, over and over again, that He would rise from the dead. A mortal man cannot be a great moral teacher but at the same time be a lunatic by claiming to be the Son of God. We can’t have it both ways. Therefore, argues Lewis, Jesus must be who he says he is.

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