While millions of people celebrate Christmas, including many who do not identify themselves as Christians, and while Christian churches around the world speak and sing about “Baby Jesus,” many really don’t know or care who this Jesus was or is!
Most people will accept that Jesus was a man who lived about 2,000 years ago. Major religions will say that Jesus was a good moral teacher or a prophet. However, this is not enough.
C. S. Lewis, in his book Mere Christianity, wrote the following:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him (Jesus Christ): ‘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 a level with 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 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 up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that option open to us. He did not intend to.”
What Lewis was saying was that calling Jesus a good teacher or a prophet but denying that He is God is actually a contradiction and not an option. To say that Jesus was a good and moral teacher and reject His claims makes no sense. How can a moral teacher, a good godly man, a prophet claim to be God? Either Jesus was and is God, or he was a liar or a lunatic.
If Jesus is not God, then He was the best liar that the human race ever produced. But Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Actually, He is God manifest in the flesh. The coming of Jesus Christ was prophesied throughout the Old Testament and was anticipated by those who lived before the New Testament. In Luke 3:15 we read: “The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ.”
Throughout the Old Testament we read about Jesus and His coming:
Micah 5:2 — “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
Isaiah 7:14 — “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
Isaiah 9:6 — “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Psalm 72:10 — “The kings of Tarshish and of distant shores will bring tribute to him; the Kings of Sheba and Seba will present him gifts.”
Isaiah 60:6 — “Herds of camels will cover your land, young camels of Midian and Ephah. And all from Sheba will come, bearing gold and incense and proclaiming the praise of the LORD.”
Isaiah 53:7 — “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”
Of course there are those who say that Jesus never claimed to be God and yet the Bible is very clear that:
● Jesus claimed to be the Messiah,
● He claimed to be the Son of God, and
● He claimed to be God.
It is therefore reasonable to believe what Jesus said about Himself if billions of people claim He was a good teacher, a moral person and a prophet. Why would people doubt a such a person?
Most birth announcements come after a birth. But Isaiah announced the birth of Christ centuries before His birth (Isaiah 9:6). Yes, a prince was born in Bethlehem. . .the prince of life and peace. Jesus came to give light to those in darkness and to those in the shadow of death. He came to help those in trouble. He came to bring hope and salvation to the human race lost in darkness. But when He came, there was no room for Him in the inn. There was room for business, but not for Jesus. There was room for pleasure, but not for Jesus. There was room for others, but not for Jesus.
Things have not changed much today. There is still no room in the hearts of men, in homes, schools, nations and even religious centres and churches.
The birth of Jesus was an announcement of great news: A saviour, Christ the Lord, had come. The Shepherds went and found Him. The Wise men from the east found Him. What about you? Have you found Him yet or you are still searching?
Pastor Joseph Hovsepian