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Blasphemous or Divine?

John 6:41-45
At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven.’ They said, ‘Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, “I came down from heaven”?’ ‘Stop grumbling among yourselves,’ Jesus answered. ‘No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: “They will all be taught by God.” Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. (NIVUK)

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). 

Our Father God. Thank You for drawing me to know and love Jesus, and for the assurance in my heart that I will be with You for all eternity. I am sorry when I have thought of Jesus as less than He truly is: God of gods, King of kings, Lord of lords, the Bread of Life, and everlasting life-giver. Please strengthen me in my faith that I may trust Jesus more and more every day. Please strengthen me in my witness so that I will live for Jesus with peace, joy and purpose in my heart; courageously explaining who Jesus is to my friends and colleagues. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams