(The purpose of this page is to relate C.S. Lewis' argument that it is not rational to claim that Jesus was merely a great moral teacher, but nothing more.)
Was Jesus Merely a Great Moral Teacher?
There are many today who prefer to place Jesus Christ in a category with other "great religious leaders" such as Buddha, Mohammed, etc. Their attitude is that there have been many great religious leaders, including Jesus, who have been helpful to the human race by encouraging good morals, etc. But they would believe that these men were, after all, mere men.
Perhaps you would prefer to believe that Jesus was a great religious leader, but certainly not God Himself. If so, the following excerpt from C.S. Lewis's book, Mere Christianity, should help dispel that notion. These words are worth some serious meditation!
"Yet (and this is the strange, significant thing) even His enemies, when they read the Gospels, do not usually get the impression of silliness and conceit. Still less do unprejudiced readers. Christ says that He is 'humble and meek' and we believe Him; not noticing that, if He were merely a man, humility and meekness are the very last characteristics we could attribute to some of His sayings.
"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 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 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 patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."
(C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, pp. 55-56)