Jesus made bold claims about His identity, which religious leaders of His day considered blasphemy. He claimed to be God’s only Son, one with the Father, descended from Heaven and destined to rule the universe as King. And what response was He met with? “For this reason they tried all the more to kill him” (John 5:18).
Many today try to reduce Jesus to the role of a good teacher, one good moral example, maybe the best among many. But His own claims about Himself in Scripture make that impossible. In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis famously pointed out,
I am trying here to prevent anyone 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 lunatic…or else he would be the Devil of Hell…but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
The battle for human souls pivots on the issue of Christ’s identity. He’s the watershed, the dividing line between Hell and Heaven. Jesus made that clear when He asked His disciples about His divinity: “ ‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ ” (Matthew 16:15).
That question is the most important one we will ever answer. Our own eternity hangs in the balance. Who do you say Jesus is? Who do you believe, in your mind and deep in your heart, He really is? Every person must give an answer—and whether our answer is right could not be more consequential.