Jesus is Lord
John 6: 35, 41-51
Imagine later today, being introduced to someone who said, “Hi, I am the bread that has come down from heaven.”
What would you say? Would you say excitedly, “Wow, wonderful, It’s great to meet you!”, or would you say in disbelief, “I’m sorry, what did you just say?” Anyone making such claims could easily be labelled as needing psychiatric help.
C.S. Lewis, in his book “Mere Christianity,” considered that anyone who makes the claims that Jesus made must either be a liar, a lunatic, be of the devil, or in fact IS the Son of God. Therefore we must either dismiss Jesus, or we HAVE to fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God! Let’s examine this more closely.
The first century Jews came to the conclusion that Jesus was a liar. Jesus used Capernaum for His base, so He is NOT an unknown in town. They know him and his family and this is the point of contention with the leaders in the synagogue:
“You are the son of Joseph and Mary from Nazareth north of here. How is it then that you say you are the bread which came down from heaven?”
You see Jesus is the 29-year-old boy of Joseph, born of flesh and blood, as the rest of us. God did not drop him down from heaven like some Prophet of old sent back to judge God’s people. The logical conclusion for a 1st century Jew is that Jesus is lying. They would probably reach the same conclusion if Jesus were to explain His virgin birth.
The other view held by Jewish leaders was that Jesus was a lunatic. But the leaders had to be careful here. Jesus was immensely popular so instead they casually suggest that He is lying. They hold the more serious charge of lunacy until such time as it is needed. You can’t blame them for this, especially when you look at the outrageous claims Jesus makes in John chapter 6: He claims:
- to have come down from heaven, v. 42.
- that people must come to him to get to the God the Father, v. 44.
- He will cause your resurrection, v. 44.
- He is the object of the prophet’s teachings, v. 45.
- He is from God, v. 46.
- He has seen the Father, v. 46.
- If you believe in Him you have eternal life, v. 47.
- He is the bread of life, v. 48.
- This bread is greater than Moses’ manna, v. 49-50.
- You will live forever with His bread, v. 50.
- This bread is His flesh given for the life of the world, v. 50
Surely the last claim alone is enough to convict him as an absolute lunatic! You probably think, “How does this work?”
Of course today we understand this as a reference to the Cross, but here again Jesus cannot go into detail. You simply won’t believe Him. People failed to realise that Jesus was simply using bread as a metaphor. Bread, when we break it, sustains our bodies. His body, when broken on the cross, sustains our souls. In a word: we are forgiven, made whole, and therefore we shall live forever with God in right relationship.
Perhaps you think Jesus is becoming a bit of a legend. Today many say He never existed, although historians agree that He did exist. Jesus is not a legendary figure.
However, legends often grow after an event, when things get exaggerated. Take King Arthur – a hero of mine. It is generally agreed that there was a man named Arthur in Britain who was a war hero some 1500 years ago. That’s about all that can be said with any certainty.
Was he a king? Probably not. Was there a Round Table? Perhaps. But there is no evidence of the sword in the stone, Merlin the magician, or the Holy Grail. These were all legends that developed around a great war hero. Legends grew about Jesus, during and after His life on earth. To stop these the Gospels were written from eyewitness accounts.
In John’s gospel we have the seven “I Am” sayings, where Jesus said of himself:
- “I AM the Bread of Life”
- “I AM the Light of the World”
- “I AM the Door”
- “I AM the Good Shepherd”
- “I AM the Resurrection and the Life”
- “I AM the Way and the Truth and the Life”
- “I AM the True Vine”
These sayings have ONE conclusion, that Jesus IS God.
So either Jesus said these things or they were made up to keep the legend going. If it was all about keeping the legend going why were so many prepared to die for their faith? Simply because His claim of deity is not the fictitious work of a writer. We are left with this: the picture that is presented of Jesus IS a GENUINE accurate record of what happened.
Jesus is Lord
Jesus is not a liar, lunatic, or legend. He is Lord.
If you call him a liar let me ask you, what teachings, exactly, are lies?
If you call him a lunatic let me ask you, In what way is he insane? Could someone so insightful about the human condition be so insane at the same time? In Jesus we find the world’s most acute AND critical thinking when challenged by his adversaries. This is not the mark of a deranged mind.
If you call him a legend let me ask you: How do you know he is a legend?
Were you with Neil Armstrong when he walked on the moon? – probably not. We know he walked on the moon because someone told us, and SOMEONE told me that Jesus lived! There were eyewitnesses who touched him, saw him, and heard him. Are His teachings and life story the work of disciples who wanted to make him MORE than he really was? If so then why did they devote their lives to a literary ghost?
No. He is not a liar, a lunatic, or a legend. He is LORD!