C.S. Lewis famously gave us this idea that Jesus is either a lunatic, a liar, or Lord.
“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 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 patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
The point is that either Jesus is who he said he is, or he isn’t. And if he isn’t who he claimed to be, why listen to anything he had to say at all?
I am constantly reminded of this when people use Jesus to tell others how they should respond to a situation or how they should view a topic.
The argument goes that Jesus just wants us to love others, and everything else is secondary. Therefore, if you hold a certain view, if it doesn’t come across on the surface as loving, then Jesus wouldn’t agree.
But that’s not how it works.
Here are some claims Jesus made:
- He and God are one (John 10:22-42)
- No one gets to God except through him (John 14:1-15)
- He has the authority to forgive sins (Matthew 9:1-8)
- He is the light of the world (John 8:12-20)
- He has always existed (John 8:48-59)
- Apart from him we can do nothing (John 15:1-11)
And for good measure, he talked about hell more than anyone else in the entire Bible. So if you are going to say Jesus is wrong about all those things, why reference him on the one thing you do agree with him on?
For example, I don’t pick and choose the “good” things that Donald Trump says. Why? Because even if he were to say something I strongly agree with, I wouldn’t want to be associated with all the negative he brings. By simply referencing Trump, to most people my statement loses credibility.
It should be no different with Jesus. Many want to throw out all the potential ‘lies’ he made for the one stance they agree with him on; love. However, if Jesus is wrong on so many other issues, it stands to reason he was probably wrong about love as well.
But he wasn’t.
Either Jesus was who he said he was or he isn’t. There is no integrity in telling others to love like Jesus if you are going to ignore everything else he said, that is simply way too inconsistent.
But if you do find yourself agreeing with him about what it means to love, maybe you should take some time to really look at the other things he says.
You might find that love was simply one of the many things Jesus got right.