Friday, October 5, 2012

Jesus Was Not a "Great Moral Teacher"

I'm reading through C. S. Lewis' Mere Christianity right now.  There are many great thoughts in that book, but this one stood out to me as especially pertinent to today.  Apparently 70 years ago, people who didn't believe in Jesus were saying the same thing that people are still saying today: "Jesus was a great moral teacher."  But this waters down Jesus' message so much that you miss the point of who Jesus is and what He did.  Lewis makes a good point when he says this:

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 a 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 patronixing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.  He did not intend to.
        --C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, book II, chapter 3.

In other words, Jesus was not a great moral teacher ... He was God Himself speaking truth into our lives, caring for our hurts, dying on the cross for our sins, and blazing a trail to eternal life by rising again.  For an explanation of the Gospel and how to be saved from God's eternal punishment of your sins, check out my post here.