Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Hebrews 2:14 (NLT)
I do a lot of public speaking. I’ve done a lot of it in my career and in my personal life. Conferences, lectures, workshops, training sessions, and even sermons. When speaking in front of a group for the first (and perhaps only) time, the host always wants a bio to read in introducing me. For the record: I hate writing my bio. I hate updating my bio. I hate listening to my bio read.
Writing a bio is basically making a public claim about yourself. It feels like you’re trying to impress people with your education or your accomplishments or whatever. It always feels like I’m trying to justify why people should listen to me. As soon as you lift yourself up there are those will start tearing you down. So, my preference is just to leave off the introduction and the bio. Just let me say what I have to say and make a judgment about me based on my message, not on my resume.
Perhaps that’s why Jesus was quick not to make public claims about Himself. He actively told people not to tell others who He was. Nevertheless, when pressed He did make a claim. He made the most audacious claim that one could make. Jesus claimed to be God in human flesh, born to live among us, to die as a sacrifice for all of our wrong doings, and to be raised back to life to make a way for the rest of us to experience Life.
C.S. Lewis famously pointed out that we all have to make our own decision about the claim that Jesus made about Himself. Lewis reasoned that we have one of three choices:
- Jesus knew He was not God and, therefore, lied to us all.
- Jesus was not God, but honestly thought and claimed that He was, which means that He was a lunatic, because claiming to be God is the act of a delusional person.
- Jesus was exactly who He said He was. In which case, I must take seriously what I’m going to do in response to what He said and asks of those who follow.
Today, I’m thinking about the person of Jesus. I’m new and afresh thinking about who He claimed to be and my choice to accept His claim. I’m reviewing my own choice to follow, however feebly, the path He laid out for those who would take up their own cross and follow.