Narnia. Perhaps you have heard this word before. It is not the name of an incurable illness or a distant planet. Narnia is a fictitious place depicted in author C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, where children enter the land from modern day England to incredible experiences of talking animals and epic battles.
C.S. Lewis is best known today as the author of these stories turned into adventure movies. However, what you may not know is C.S. Lewis once did not believe in God. Or, at best, He believed God may exist but He was not involved in our day-to-day lives. In his thirties he had a conversion and became a follower of Jesus Christ.
One of the ways Lewis presented Jesus in his writings is that he was either a liar, a lunatic or he was Lord. Others had presented this view prior to Lewis but he popularized it at the time. The reason Lewis seemed to offer this view was based on the claims Jesus made about Himself in the New Testament. Let’s look at a few:
1. Jesus is God. He said in John 14:9, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” Other passages of Scripture cite the same claim by Jesus in similar fashion. John 10:33 records how the religious leaders wanted to stone Jesus for His claim to be God.
2. Jesus as Judge. He also makes it very clear in Matthew 25:31-46 that He will one day judge the world. Many today do not like to think of Jesus as judge but He is the one who made this claim about Himself.
3. Jesus as the only way to God, the Father. John 14:6 reads, “Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.’” In a world where many view all religions the same, this claim by Jesus is especially important to recognize.
Like C.S. Lewis did before his conversion, many of us grew up believing Christianity as a list of dos and don’ts. Yes, these do exist. However, reading the gospel accounts of Jesus’ life and recognizing the evidence therein, we must come to the conclusion that Jesus was a person who made claims that we should consider. We cannot simply say He was a good man that we should try to emulate. If we care about our life and the lives of our children or grandchildren, we must deal with what he said and take action based on it.
Was he a liar or a lunatic? Most people think not. So what is the alternative? He must be who He said He was – the Lord God of Heaven who came, in mercy, to give us His very life so that we may truly live!
William “Carey” Northington of One Master Ministries in Xenia may be contacted at www.OneMaster.org.