Blasphemous or Divine?
Although many people think that Jesus is just a good teacher or wise prophet, His own words do not allow that conclusion to be drawn. The crowd listening to Him thought His words were almost blasphemous - to claim to have come down from heaven (John 6:38). The people in Capernaum knew Jesus of Nazareth; they also knew Mary and Joseph and Jesus’ half siblings (Mark 6:3). To them, He was a carpenter's son, so how could He claim to have come from heaven?
They 'grumbled' - the word meaning to mutter in a low voice, secretly complaining. But Jesus rebuked them. He heard their hearts if not their complaining voices. They were in no position to stand in judgement over His divine identity. He was their Creator (John 1:3). And so, He continued to teach them that nobody would be attracted to Him unless they were in tune with Father God and would listen to Him through the Scriptures drawing people to Jesus.
The crowds, who grumbled at His words, eventually wanted to crucify Him because they thought He was blaspheming against God, but they were eventually shocked to discover that He had risen from the dead; a death for which they knew they were responsible (Acts 2:36-37).
It is the same today. In a world full of religions, it is difficult for some people to realise that Jesus claimed to be equal to God (John 5:18). Although Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, many still refuse to believe and will not listen to God (who they may claim to worship) urging them to put their trust in Jesus. So, as we talk about Jesus with our friends and colleagues, we need to be clear that Jesus is not just a kind and a wise teacher and miraculous healer - He is also equal with God (John 10:30), commissioned by the Father as the only person who can bring people from earth to heaven (John 3:13; John 14:6), and raise them with new bodies when He comes back to earth one day (John 6:40).
© Dr Paul Adams