yearB proper 14
John 6:35, 41-51 - JESUS: Liar, Lunatic, Legend, or Lord
Before we read the text for this morning I am going to ask you to do something a little different. I want you to listen to the reading not with a heart of faith but with a skeptical mind. If it helps, imagine that you do not know that Jesus is anything else but a teacher. You are a first century person who has just been introduced to him. [Read John 6:35, 41-51]
Pretty incredible isn't it? For someone to make such claims. What if, later today, you were introduced to someone and that someone said, "Hi, I am the bread that has came down from heaven." You would look at your friend who just introduced you to this person and you would say, "I'm sorry, what did he just say?" Anyone who seriously made such claims would easily be labeled a kook, a nut, certifiable.
C.S. Lewis, in his book "Mere Christianity," makes the following statement about Jesus: "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 the level with a man who says he is a poached egg--or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool 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."
Throughout the book Lewis argues for the truthfulness and importance of the Christian faith. But before we go any further, let me recommend this: If you have a friend who has doubts about the Christian faith, go get this book "Mere Christianity" and give it to them. If they are honest in their doubts it will overcome many of them. In the book you will find the following idea put forth: Jesus was either a liar, lunatic, legend, or Lord.
This scene from Jesus' life (John 6:41-52) demonstrates these four possibilities. Jesus is either...
1. A Liar
2. A Lunatic
3. A Legend
4. Or Lord