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  • Writer's pictureKent Chevalier

Liar, Lunatic, or Lord?

False Jesus is my personal campaign to explore cultural misconceptions about Jesus and Christianity. Sometimes the misconceptions are new thoughts and ideas presented by current cultural trends, but most of the time, as King Solomon once said, there’s nothing new under the sun. It just might be packaged a little bit differently.


The question that we’re going to discuss today is a 2,000-year-old question that is still being asked.


Is Jesus Christ really God?


This is a huge question that we have to wrestle to the ground. I’m obviously only going to scratch the surface in this short podcast/newsletter. The answer to this question has massive implications for your life and mine regardless of if we choose to answer it. But I’ll give you a little hint. If you choose not to answer the question, you’re actually answering it.


History has wrestled with this question ever since the day Jesus was born. Even when he was in his mother’s womb. Different religions land on opposite sides when it comes to answering this question. Some say he was God. Some say he was a prophet of God. Some say he was an excellent teacher of Jewish Law with a unique rabbinic teaching method. Some say that he was just a good moral teacher. And still, some just don’t care.


The jury was definitely out during Jesus’ short time on earth. Only a couple called him a son. Some called him brother. Some called him a king, and one king tried to have him killed as a baby before Jesus could even speak a word. Some called him rabbi and followed him. Some even called him the Messiah. Some of the religious leaders called him a blasphemer while the Roman executioner, who was present at his crucifixion, said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54)


History has said many different things about Jesus. But what I want to ask today is… What did Jesus say about himself?


This is the goal of this False Jesus campaign. I don’t want you to take my word for it. I don’t want you to take history’s word for it. I want you to deeply consider what God said about Jesus. I want you to take the word of those who were eyewitnesses of Jesus’ life and ministry. I want you to take Jesus’ word for it.


Jesus made some massive claims about himself, and I will pull these apart in future episodes of False Jesus. For time’s sake, I’m going to list seven things Jesus said about himself and what he claimed to be true. Please understand that this is not an exhaustive list, and I would love for you to make the time to dig into the Bible passages where these claims are found. Again, don’t just take my word for it. Take Jesus’ word for it!


Jesus Claims…

  1. He came from Heaven (John 6:35-38).

  2. He has the power to perform miracles (John 10:36-39).

  3. He was sinless (John 8:45-47).

  4. He has the authority to forgive sin (Mark 2:5-7).

  5. He would die and come back to life (Mark 8:31).

  6. He is the only way to Heaven (John 14:6).

  7. He is God (John 10:30-33).


Those are seven massive claims with eternal impact. Seven statements from Jesus himself that have huge implications for your life and mine…if they are true. Either these claims are true, or they’re not.


Do you believe these claims from Jesus are true? Do you believe Jesus came down from Heaven? Do you believe that Jesus has the power to perform miracles? That he was sinless? That he has the authority to forgive sin? Do you believe that Jesus died and came back to life? Do you believe that he’s the only way you’re getting to heaven? And do you believe that Jesus Christ is God?


You cannot believe one without believing the others. Either all these claims are true or none of them are true because these claims are tied to the person who’s making them.


C.S. Lewis

Is Jesus God?


C.S. Lewis answered this question with a profound statement that has stuck with me ever since reading his book, Mere Christianity.


Before I tell you what he said, let me tell you a little bit about C.S. Lewis.


“Clive Staples Lewis (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement.”


“Lewis wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. C. S. Lewis’s most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics in The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and been transformed into three major motion pictures.” (taken from cslewis.com)


I wanted to give you a little bit of C.S. Lewis’ resume to show you how brilliant this dude was. Many times when I read his books, I have to stop and re-read what he meant, but this quote made so much sense to me, and it has had such an impact on my life that here I am 25 years later sharing it with you.

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him [that is, 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 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 up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” (Mere Christianity)

C.S. Lewis answered the “Is Jesus God?” question with a profound statement. He’s either a liar, a lunatic, or he is Lord!”


In my current role as an NFL Chaplain, I open up every new football season of Bible Studies, Chapels, and spiritual conversations with this question. Was Jesus a liar, a lunatic, or was he legit? I use the word “legit” because the word “Lord” can be confusing since we don’t talk that way today, and I have to unpack what that means.


I’ll say to the guys on the team…if Jesus is legit, then your answer to that question bears a massive weight. According to Jesus, your answer has eternal consequences. We have to make the decision as to which one we believe. We cannot be wishy-washy about it. We cannot ignore the question. Why?


Because if Jesus’ claims are indeed true, and he is God (Lord, Supreme Ruler, Creator, and Sustainer of all things visible and invisible), then the answer to this question has massive implications for our next life. I’m talking about life after death. The afterlife…something we’re all going to experience. How we respond to this Jesus question in this current life, determines our destination and existence in the next life, if what Jesus said is true.


Massive Claims, Massive Implications

John 14 records an incredible conversation between Jesus and his closest disciples where Jesus makes some of these massive claims. Jesus (during what we now call the Last Supper) had just predicted his death and resurrection. He was letting them know…you’re going to see me die, but don’t worry…three days later I’m coming back to life! He goes on to basically say, I’m going back to Heaven to be with God my Father, but don’t worry, I’ll be back.

Jesus said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.”
   “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
   Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”
   Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”
   Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! (John 14:1-9)

So here we have Jesus’ massive claim, as God in the flesh, to be the exclusive gateway to Heaven. Jesus said, I am the way! Nobody can experience Heaven unless you go through me. He’s saying that there’s only one way.


As you hear Jesus make that claim, you’re either comforted or concerned. Comforted because you believe in and follow Jesus. You’ve placed your trust and faith in Jesus. You have a relationship with God through the gatekeeper, Jesus. You’re comforted because loved ones who have died, also believed in and followed Jesus, and they’re in Heaven with God. You are comforted.


But some of you are concerned right now.


What if this claim is true? Then that potentially means that loved ones, who didn’t believe in and follow Jesus in this life, are not in Heaven with God in the afterlife. And that’s not a pleasant thought for any of us. You might be concerned right now because you’re not sure if you believe this and are worried about the validity of Jesus’ claim and it’s implications on your afterlife experience.


Everybody wants to go to Heaven. Nobody wants to go to Hell in the afterlife. Everyone wants to believe that their loved one who died is in Heaven. And if what Jesus is saying is true, we owe it to ourselves to examine the Gatekeeper. This is what C.S. Lewis was trying to alert his readers about.


Is Jesus a liar, a lunatic, or was he legit?


When you answer that one question, it automatically leads you to more questions. For instance…


If Jesus was lying, then how are you and I getting to Heaven in the afterlife? What must we do to get a seat at the table? Who determines who gets in? If Jesus was lying, then how was the tomb empty? If Jesus was lying, then why are there records of him being seen alive by over 500 people after he was crucified? If Jesus was lying, there’s a rabbit hole of questions that should deeply concern us that we simply cannot ignore.


If Jesus was a lunatic, then what hope do we have when it comes to God and Heaven? And think about Jesus’ life. Why would a crazy person lead people to radically love and serve others to the point of his own death for that cause? If Jesus was crazy, then hundreds of millions of people throughout 2,000+ years deserve our pity.


But what if Jesus is legit? If he is God, who he said he is, then we at least owe it to ourselves to look into his massive claims. We owe it to our future generations to read about Jesus, to discover what he taught, and come to a conclusion on our own.


If Jesus is wrong, then what have you lost? Nothing except a little bit of time.


If Jesus is right, then what have you lost? Everything for an eternity.


Before you go…

It seems logical to me that you would investigate Jesus and the claims he made. I want to encourage you to do the research. Do the study. You owe it to yourself.


It wasn’t until I began to read the Bible for myself that I discovered some of the things I had been taught about Jesus were simply not true. It wasn’t until I researched Jesus for myself that I stumbled upon some of these massive claims and their implications for my life and the afterlife. I didn’t know them until I dug into them for myself.


The reason I’m doing this podcast/newsletter is to alert people that there’s a good possibility that you’ve made your decision to this “Liar, Lunatic, or Lord?” question based on a False Jesus. Based on someone else’s word for it. Based on someone elses’ opinion. Based on ignorance. And I am going to do everything I can to help point people to the real Jesus and what he said and what eyewitnesses said about him.


Please, don’t take my word for it. Take God’s word for it and then make your decision.


The Jesus Decision

by Kent Chevalier

Was Jesus a liar? A lunatic? Or was he legit?
Before you answer this question, you have to feel the weight of it.
Know that he wasn’t messin’ around with only that night in mind
He was looking deeper, further beyond to your next life and mine
When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane sweatin’ blood from his brow,
You were on his mind and his heart somehow, both then and now
We have to see the bigger picture that Jesus was introducing
The void between us and God that our sin is constantly producing
And Jesus claimed that he could bridge that life and death gap
As the sinless savior, he sat…silent before his accusers
He willingly took the insults and lashes and then was crucified by so many abusers
If Jesus was a liar, then I need to retire while many admire
And think that he was nothing more than a good moral teacher
He can’t possibly be good and make those claims if they are not true
That makes him crazy and so are you if you believe this pretend king
If he was lying then he was dying as a mad man striving
To make sense of the evil thoughts in his heart and mind
So we simply cannot call this teacher good if what he claimed was not legit
It’s so simple, can we not see the logic of it?
He’s only one of the three, nothing more, nothing less
He’s either Lord or a liar, or this man’s mind was a mess.
You have to make your choice, and I have made mine.
Don’t let somebody else make it for you, but make sure you don’t run out of time.
As for me…I’m gonna go out on a faith limb and follow this God King.
The one who historically died and came back to life, just like he was predicting.
The guy who calls his shot with something like the resurrection
And legitimately pulls it off with eyewitnesses, not pretendin’.
Is worthy of my trust and at least my attention.
He practiced what he preached, and He lived true to his word.
That’s why I follow Jesus. That’s why I call him my Lord.
So, what about you? What’s your choice in this Jesus matter?
You can’t ignore it and sweep it under the rug like your answer doesn’t matter.
If what Jesus claimed is actually true,
I have a decision to make, and so do you.

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