Jesus Christ – True God or truly insane?
He was sitting around the campfire enjoying the soft glow of burning embers and close friends, when a question popped into his head. With a slight grin, he asked: “Hey guys, who do those people out there say that I am?” His friends, basking in the warmth of the crackling blaze, were caught off-guard. “You? Well, some say you’re a great prophet.” Jesus, knowing the depth of this question, looked straight at the disciples and inquired again: “But what about you? Who do YOU say that I am?”That’s the question of a lifetime, isn’t it? People all over this world struggle even today with the truth about Jesus Christ. Who do you believe Jesus is? And do you know Him? When people today are confronted with this profound inquiry, the common answer is: “Well, Jesus was a great moral teacher and a good prophet.” People of all religions affirm that He was. But who is He really? The Bible records Jesus making claims of Himself:- “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)- “Jesus replied, I and the Father are One.” (John 10:11, 30)- “My Father whom you claim as God, is the One who glorifies Me.” (John 8:54)At least seven times, in the Gospel of John alone, Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God, and the only one who takes away our sins. The 1st century Jewish historian, Josephus, confirms the validity of Christ’s statements about Himself in his well-documented, “The Antiquities of the Jews”. The Old Testament verifies prophecy about Jesus Christ 700 years before He was born: “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our sins; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5Jesus Christ made it clear in the Bible and in the historical record that He did not come to our planet to be a “good teacher” or some great prophet, but someone far greater: God in the flesh, the Savior of the world, God reaching out to us, the path to heaven. He called Himself the Son of God, God Himself, the Truth embodied in a person, and He believed it! Do you believe that Jesus was telling the truth about Himself? Those who do not believe must think Jesus was a liar. Or there are those who think the claims of Jesus were outrageous, that Jesus was a raving lunatic. He was either one or the other, or He was genuine- the real deal. But you can not dismiss Him as just a good teacher or great prophet- how can a liar or a lunatic be a good and moral? Impossible! We write off liars and lunatics, sending them to a place where they can get help. The noted Oxford professor, C.S. Lewis says this about Jesus: “A man who was merely a man and said the things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic or else 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.” Mere Christianity. The same question Jesus posed to His disciples comes down to us through history to confront our very souls today “Who do you say that I am?” How will you respond to this question? The disciple Peter got it right: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:16. C.S. Lewis finishes his treatise in Mere Christianity by challenging us with the truth: “Let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about Jesus being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”Think about the miraculous staying power the Christian faith has had over centuries. Even now, 2000 years later, Christianity and the person of Jesus remain a prominent topic in the news and current issues. The intensity of this fact urges you to make a decision about who Jesus is. You do have a choice. However, God is so gracious that He will never force us to believe as some other world religions do. Believe Jesus or dismiss Him. But know this: your choice has great ramifications both for your true freedom on this planet and the quality of your eternity. After all, at every turn, God has your best interest in mind. Remember Jesus’ words: “You will know the Truth, and the truth will set you free!” John 8:32.Gary Wingo leads a gathering called Seekers Fellowship, meeting at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards on Sundays at 6:30 p.m.Vail, Colorado