Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Just who is this Jesus?

Read John 7
Just who is this Jesus?

It was still the festival.  Jesus was still teaching in the temple courts and he told the crowd, he would not be around much longer.  Many questions circulated.

How can he be the Messiah?  The Christ must come from Bethlehem.  He did but they did not know that and Jesus did not feel obligated to participate in an interrogation.

Is this the man they want to kill?  Well why don’t they do something if they have the goods on him?  The infamous they was at work even long ago.

Surely the Messiah will perform more miracles than this man has, or will he?  What more should we expect?  Remember, most of the miracles of Jesus took place in Galilee, but word traveled throughout the area.

Jesus told the crowd that he was doing the will of the one who sent him.  God sent him.  This did not sit well with some.  He said that those who came to him would receive living water, that is the Spirit of God.

Jesus said he would only be with them for a short time and then would go where they could not come.  Speculation abounded.  Greece?  Other places where the Jews had been scattered over the centuries?  Where could he go where they could not?

Some believed and some wanted him arrested.  Some wondered why the religious leaders didn’t do something.  Eventually, they tried.

We are told that both the crowd and the religious leaders wanted to seize him but could not for a single reason.  His time had not yet come.

The people were divided.  Some came to him believing him to be prophet or Messiah.  Some wanted him arrested, but that would not happen on this day.  His time had not yet come.

Who was this Jesus?

This scripture in John’s seventh chapter is an opportunity to share something that many of you have heard before.  It’s C.S. Lewis’s Liar, Lunatic, or Lord exposition.  It’s worth hearing once more.

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 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. ... Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.
The people were divided.  Jesus had yet to go to the cross.  The Spirit had yet to be given.  We should cut these folks a little slack.

But what about us?  We have the whole story?  Do we believe that Jesus lived, died, and rose again?  Was he the Son of God?  Have we received salvation and life from him?

If the answer is yes, then Jesus is our Lord.

Jesus is life.  Jesus is Lord.


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