The Gospel of John is full of outlandish claims by Jesus, and when I say outlandish, I’m not talking about run-of-the-mill-I’m-awesome, outlandish. I’m talking about so outlandish that it’s [as that weird dude kept saying in the Princess Bride] inconceivable! They are EVERYWHERE in the Gospel of John. Three examples from my current passage (John 4.1-26):
- “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again” – Aside from the fact that Jesus is not talking about physical water and is—as he makes clear—talking about eternal life, just sit back for a moment and ponder the implication. It’s easy to gloss over if you’ve grown up in the church because you’ve heard the passage before and already know [and hopefully believe] that Jesus is Messiah. Here is this random guy sitting by a well and he is telling this random woman that what he has to give her will solve her [spiritual] thirst forever! Who says stuff like this with a straight face?
- “Salvation is from the Jews” – Uh oh…just when we thought that Jesus was one of those guys who liked to pound away on the religious “conservatives” [Pharisees] of the day and just when we were REALLY starting to like him for doing that, he drops an intolerant bomb like this. Salvation is from the Jews? You are serious, Jesus? That can only mean that salvation is not from the Buddhists…or Muslims…or Hindus…or any other possible religion because salvation comes from the Jews [see Gen 12.1-3]?!? Do you realize how intolerant this is, Jesus? Do you know how you sound here? [I suspect he does].
- “I, who speak to you, am he.” – He as in, the Messiah, the Deliverer, the one for whom the Jews AND Samaritans had been waiting all these years. The one who was in the beginning with God and was God! For the Marines out there let’s put it even more simply: Jesus to the Samaritan woman – “I am the Messiah!”
I’m quite sure that one can search in vain in the history of the ENTIRE WORLD and not find three statements comparable to these from any other person who has ever lived. Here’s the thing, Jesus doesn’t stop with these three statements, he goes on and on for the rest of John making these kind of outlandish claims!
It’s crazy to make these claims! Jesus is crazy! Unless what he says is true…