The Jewish Carpenter
Who is this guy? Some say merely a great human teacher. But is that really possible?
No one has ever improved on his teaching, had such command for miracles, lived a more beautiful life, loved more perfectly.
And no one says he's a jerk. So why not trust his words about himself?
C. S. Lewis:
Here's the real shock: Among the Jews there suddenly turns up a man who goes about talking as if He was God. He claims to forgive sins. He says He has always existed. He says He is coming to judge the world at the end of time. What this man said was, quite simply, the most shocking thing that has ever been uttered by human lips.
One part of the claim tends to slip past us unnoticed because we have heard it so often that we no longer see what it amounts to. I mean the claim to forgive sins: any sins. Now unless the speaker is God, this is really so preposterous as to be comic. We can all understand how a man forgives offenses against himself. You tread on my toe and I forgive you, you steal my money and I forgive you. But what should we make of a man, himself unrobbed and untrodden, who announced that he forgave you for treading on other men's toes and stealing other men's money? Asinine fatuity is the kindest description we should give of his conduct. Yet this is what Jesus did. He told people that their sins were forgiven, and never waited to consult all the other people whom their sins had undoubtedly injured. He unhesitatingly behaved as if He was the party chiefly concerned, the person chiefly offended in all offences. This makes sense only if He really was the God whose laws are broken and whose love is wounded in every sin. In the mouth of any speaker who is not God, these words would imply what I can only regard as a silliness and conceit unrivalled by any other character in history.
Read Peter Kreeft's essay on this famous argument:
"Lord, Liar or Lunatic?"
The Divinity of Christ
Yet (and this is the strange significant thing) even His enemies, when they read the Gospels, do not get the impression of silliness and conceit. Still less to unprejudiced readers. Christ says that He is "humble and meek" and we believe Him; not noticing that, if He were merely a man, humility and meekness are the very last characteristics we could attribute to some of His sayings.
I am trying here to prevent anyone from 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 lunaticon a level with the man who says he is a poached eggor 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.
Opening the Invite
I long to meet with you, to commune with My people.
It is more about our being one than it ever is about what you're doing for Me. Let that stem from our union, for nowhere else can you know the depth of My call on your life and where I want you than in the time we spend together.
Wasn't the cross about opening the way between us, so we could spend eternity together in the love of the Father, Son and Spirit? All I do for you is My way of reaching out, drawing you in calling you My own. I will never bless where it is not My intent to bring us closer. Please do not lose sight within My blessings for you that would ever cause you to turn away from Me for even a moment. This life is about a relationship: yours and mine.
I long for all My peoplethe entire earth and everyone in itto know Me, to know I love them passionately.
When our relationship is strong, it breeds a multiplicity of fruit: fellowship with your brothers and sisters; deeper joy; the ability to trust Me more; healing; a richness to all you do each day; a desire to serve; a hatred for sin; and peace knowing you are eternally loved.
Seek Me first in everything. See Me everywhere. I am
with you always and My love never escapes you. Come and partake of this
banquet of grace I have for you right here, right now. I long for you.
Hear My voice and answer My plea.