C. S. LEWIS had no patiences with those who call Jesus a “teacher,” who say they do not believe Jesus was God among us, but that he was kind of like Socrates – a sage, a wisdom person. …
In Mere Christianity, Lewis says either Jesus is who he says he is, or he is a lunatic. If Jesus believes he is the Messiah and is not, then he’s insane – much like the guy in the straitjacket who thinks he’s Napoleon – and we had better not trust a thing he says. If, however, he is the Son of God, the Messiah, we had best pay attention to what he says and right now, hard as it can be.
It is Jesus’ identity that gives his teaching credibility, Lewis said, and not the other way around. Only if his teaching has divine, which is to say eternal, grounding and authority does the teaching make any sense. The world as it is, warring and acquisitive, neither recognizes nor rewards such aphorisms as “The meek shall inherit the earth,” or “The more you give away, the more you have.” Cross-bearing is quite the opposite of cross-burning, and sacrificial love quite the contrary of preemptive acts of self-preservation. And yet that is what Jesus calls us to: selflessness, sacrifice, deference.
– Thomas R. Steagald
Shadows, Darkness, and Dawn
From pages 55-56 of Shadows, Darkness, and Dawn: A Lenten Journey with Jesus by Thomas R. Steagald. Copyright © 2010 by Thomas R. Steagald. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
What does it mean to you to say that Jesus is the Messiah? Share your thoughts.
I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.
Exodus 17:6, NRSV
This Week: pray for Sunday school teachers. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
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This week we remember: Patrick of Ireland (March 17).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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