For those of us blessed enough to have heard the name of Jesus, we all have an opinion of him. For many, he is nothing more than a moral teacher or a revolutionary upstart, but for others he is the center of life and God in the flesh.
C.S. Lewis wrote the trilemma argument as an apologist approach to affirming the deity of Christ. Here are his words:
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 patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. . . . Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God. (Mere Christianity, 55-56)
I think his description is still spot on today. We live in a culture that either:
- Dismisses Jesus as any value
- Esteems Jesus as a role model but not authority
- Claims Jesus as Savior but not as Lord
Jesus Is Lord
- The New Testament authors claimed Jesus to be God (John 1:1).
- Jesus forgave someone’s sins and everyone knew that in this action, he was claiming to be God (Mark 2:5-11).
- Jesus stated that he was one with the Father and the Jews knew exactly what he was saying which is why they tried to stone him (John 10:30-33; cf. Lev. 24:16).
- God purchased the church with his own blood (Acts 20:28).
- Jesus received worship (Matt. 2:11; 14:33; 28:9, 17; Luke 24:52; John 9:35-38).
- Paul urged Titus to wait for the coming of our God and Savior Jesus (Titus 2:13).
- Jesus was believed to have the fullness of Deity (Col. 2:9).
- Jesus claimed to be the eternal I AM (John 8:58).
- God became flesh in the person of Jesus (John 1:14).
- Thomas declared him to be God (John 20:28).
I encourage you to study the Bible and realize that Jesus was not a liar and neither a lunatic. If he truly is the Lord, we will each come to grasp with that truth at one point in our lives (Phil. 2:10-11).
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.