Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
You cannot accept Jesus as simply a moral man, religious leader, or quotable teacher. The religious leaders of the day understood that Jesus claimed to be God. With this claim, all options to accept Jesus as less than God are invalid. In his book Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis stated the case:
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about [Jesus]: “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 of a 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.
Jesus did not intend to leave options. With Him there is no straddling the fence. You have to make your choice about Jesus. What will it be?
Father, open my heart so that I can fall at the feet of Jesus and call Him Lord and God. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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