By Mike Bowen, Covenant Presbyterian
As we look forward to a new year, I pose this question — Does Jesus really matter?
Jesus makes some audacious claims about himself. He claimed to be God, the Son, sent from God His Father to reconcile people to God through his sacrificial death.
He claimed to be the resurrection and the life. He claimed to be the only way to come to God. He claimed to have been given all authority in heaven and earth and claimed the right to instruct others on what they should believe and how they should live.
He claimed He would return one day to reward those who trusted solely in his sacrifice and resurrection with eternal life and to condemn those who trusted in any other way with eternal punishment.
If you seriously think about it, these are some outrageous claims and there are so many more that he made.
You and I may argue about the degree to which these things are true, but one thing we both need to accept is that Jesus and his followers believed them to be true. If that is the case, then you and I have a decision to make.
C.S. Lewis, the author of the children’s books, the Chronicles of Narnia, states it well in his book, Mere Christianity:
“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 — on the level with the 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 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.”
If he really is who he claimed to be, then he really does matter. So then the significant question for you is: Does he matter to you? If not, I hope and pray that changes this year! Best Wishes for a Blessed New Year.