The Second Eclectic

Technology changes how we relate to God and each other

Jesus gets real

So, I was thinking about my last post, about lying, when I was reminded of the story about Jesus in the Gospel of John. It’s an interesting story because Jesus is sort of antagonizing to the crowd he talking with. They just keep getting angrier and angrier, and he stays pretty calm and…well, here’s how it goes.

Jesus: “I'm leaving and you can’t come.”
Crowd: “Is he gonna kill himself? What does he mean we can’t come?”
Jesus: “You are earthly. I am heavenly. Unless you believe I’m God like I’ve said before, you will die like that.”
Crowd: “Who are you?”

At this point it's clear that the crowd isn't from Mensa.

Jesus: “I’ve told you over and over. I could condemn you right now for not believing, but I won’t. I’m just being honest because God is honest.”

And remember, he believes he’s God. Therefore, he’s honest.

Jesus: “When you see me die on the cross, then you’ll realize I’m God.”

Some of the people believed Jesus. So he goes on.

Jesus: “If you keep believing what I’ve said, you’re good to go. What I’ve said
is true, and the truth shall set you free.”
Crowd: “What do you mean? We’ve never been enslaved!”
Jesus: “Everyone who is earthly is a slave. Slaves serve a master, but a son is part of the family. I’m the Son of God, a part of the family. But you’re following your father.”
Crowd: “Abraham is our father!”
Jesus: “No you’re not. You want to kill me because I’m being honest and telling you I’m God. If you were Abraham’s kids, you’d believe me.”
Crowd: “We aren’t bastards! God is our real father.”
Jesus: “If God was your father, you’d love me because I’m God. But your daddy is the devil.”
Crowd: “No, you’re a devil! You’re demonically possessed.”
Jesus: “No I’m not. I honor God because I am God. But you don’t honor me. If you honor me, you’ll never die.”
Crowd: “Okay. You’re crazy. You possessed lunatic! Everyone dies, even Abraham. Are you greater than Abraham? Who do you think you are?”
Jesus: “Abraham was looking forward to my arrival. If I simply gave in and agreed with you, I’d be a liar. And God can’t lie, so I have to be honest.”
Crowd: “You’re not even 50 and you say Abraham knew you?”
Jesus: “Before Abraham was even born, I existed because I am God.”
Then the crowd picked up stones to throw at him to kill him, but he escaped.

That story is so entertaining because Jesus is just being honest. If he were to acquiesce to the crowd and make peace with them, if he were to say, “Hey, it’s cool. You don’t believe I’m God, so I’ll just let that slide,” then he would be a liar by implicitly agreeing. And if he’s God and can’t lie, then he’s just gotta keep going with the whole “I’m God”-thing and let the people be mad.

So was he being honest because he had to be, or was he just looking to pick a fight and run away?