Liar, Lunatic, or Lord?
Bible Reading: Matthew 16:13-19
You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Matthew 16:16
“You’re so stupid,” Sean laughed. “Heather, how can you believe all that Bible stuff? Jesus might have been a good person, but he wasn’t God.”
Heather’s mouth dropped open. She and Sean attended a Christian school together. Heather wanted to object, but she fumbled for words.
“I know,” Sean said. “You’re wondering how they ever let me into Heritage Academy. I know all the right answers. I’m just not sure I believe them.”
Sean isn’t the first person to have had doubts like that. He’s not even the first person who grew up in a Christian home and went to a Christian school to question his faith. But there’s a problem. Jesus claimed to be God—period.
But let’s try out Sean’s point of view for a second. If Jesus wasn’t God, what was he? There are only three choices:
First option: Maybe Jesus was a liar. Jesus said he was God. But suppose he knew he wasn’t. That would make him the biggest liar who ever lived. He told others to be honest even while he taught and lived a huge lie.
The possibility that Jesus was lying, however, doesn’t fit what we know about him or the results of his life. Whenever people have discovered who Jesus is, lives have been changed for the good. Someone who lived like Jesus lived, taught, and died couldn’t have been a phony.
Second option: Maybe Jesus was a lunatic. If someone told you he was God, you would think he was crazy—like someone who claims to be Santa Claus. But Jesus didn’t show any of the symptoms that go hand in hand with being mentally unglued. Jesus stayed calm when his enemies attacked. He spoke some of the wisest words ever recorded. Jesus Christ was no crazy man.
Third option: Jesus is Lord. If our Savior isn’t a liar or a lunatic, he is who he claimed to be—the Son of God.
Jesus is either a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord God. You have to make the choice. But you have help to make the right choice—the Bible. This provides the historically trustworthy record of Christ’s rising from the dead. Providing you with solid reasons to believe is a huge reason God gave you the Bible. As John wrote, “These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life” (John 20:31).
TALK: So who do you think Christ is—liar, lunatic, or Lord? Why believe that?
PRAY: Jesus, you are Lord. We want to honor and worship you with our praises.
ACT: Talk through the three options for who Jesus was until you can explain them in your own words. How do you know Jesus is Lord—the Son of God—who is in charge of everything?