“C. S. had the Right Words”
C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) is undoubtedly the most widely read and best known Christian author of the Twentieth Century. Several years ago a movie entitled, Shadowlands, starring Anthony Hopkins was produced about the life of Lewis. It’s now on video and well worth the time for viewing. One thing remarkable about Lewis’ writing ability was his range. He could write books to stump the most hardened agnostic, but he could also write children’s books (Chronicles of Narnia) that still circulate in the market places.
When I was a young student at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, OK many years ago, I took a course in Lewis’ theology. It was at that time my taste for Lewis’ material developed. One of my favorite books is Mere Christianity. I want to highlight some lines in his book that are widely read by theology students everywhere. Lewis states: “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 is 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. (Mere Christianity [New York: Touchstone, 1996] 56.)
While I’m on the topic, what do you say about Jesus? Who was He? Some say that He was a myth, perpetuated through history by shallow minds. Some say that He was only a historical person. He did some great things for His fellowman, but that’s it. Some say that He was then, and His teachings are now, offensive. No one likes being called a worthless sinner. But, then again, some of us say that He is Jesus the Christ, the only Begotten Son of God, Savior and Lord, and He is worth savoring. The Bible says that Jesus was God’s glory revealed physically. Men and women in the time of Jesus saw with their own eyes the very glory of God the Father standing before them—Wow!
Today we can’t see Jesus physically, but we can see Him with the eyes of our heart. We have two sets of eyes—one set is physical, and the other set is spiritual. The spiritual eyes of our heart are very, very important to spiritual survival. Why? Sometimes our physical eyes focus on the “created thing” and fails to tell the spiritual eyes to investigate further for possible deception. For example, many times in the Old Testament the people of Israel would turn away from the invisible God of heaven and focus their physical eyes on man-made idols of wood or stone and call that thing their god. We must have our spiritual eyes open always to the one and true God of heaven, resisting the temptation to make gods out of “things” and even ourselves (Humanism). Yes, the Bible says that we are to walk by faith and not by (physical) sight. Hear me please. Faith is not blind. We don’t blindly leap into a realm that is suspicious and unreasonable. We see the Word of God before us, and our eyes of faith stay focused on the promises until they become reality.
What about savoring Jesus? Do you? Pastor John Piper says that when you see something as true and beautiful and valuable, you savor it. That is, you treasure it. You cherish and admire and prize it. Spiritual seeing and spiritual savoring are so closely connected that it would be fair to say: If you don’t savor Christ, you haven’t seen Christ for who He is. If you don’t prize him above all things, you haven’t apprehended his true worth.
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