Was Jesus a Wacko? Many People Thought So.

Many people during the days of Jesus thought He was wacked because He said things none of them understood. They even asked the question in John 7:15, “How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?” Some thought He was full of the devil, while other didn’t have a clue. They didn’t know what to make of Him. Today, people are still wrestling with these same thoughts. Who is this man? What qualifies Him to be the Lord of Heaven and earth, the Savior of mankind? In [John 6:67-69] the Apostle John records a conversation between Jesus and His disciples in which He asked them the question, “Would you also like to go away?” What Jesus was really asking His disciples was, “Do you think I am crazy like all those other people? Are you going to quit on me, too?” Because that is what people do when they don’t understand everything He says. Instead of staying put until they get a clear understanding of what He really said; they end up getting mad like the people in this story did and stop following Him to follow someone else who is just as confused as they are. However, if you stop and think about it; everything Jesus said was controversial and new to the ears of man. Those who were there to criticize left mad, and those with ears to hear left glad. But that was the method Jesus used to get the attention of men when He spoke. His teachings demanded a response from the people who heard Him speak. Unlike the preachers of today who preach feel good messages. People wanted to kill Jesus because what He said oftentimes disagreed with their teachings, screwed with their theology, while others were extremely pleased to see the religious leaders put in their place. But what prompted this conversation with His disciples was the description Jesus gave of Himself earlier in this chapter in which He identified Himself to them as the ‘Bread of Life’, and said to the religious Jews in [John 6:53-58], “Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoso eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is ‘the real food’, and my blood is ‘the real drink’. He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him. As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eats me, even he shall live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven; not as your fathers ate man’-na, and are dead; he that eats of this bread shall live forever.”

Now, imagine you are standing in the crowd listening to Jesus talk and you hear the words, “Whoso eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day.” Would you think these were the words of a wacko preaching cannibalism or the words of the Son of God? Of course, you are going to say you would be like Peter and the other eleven disciples and give the same answer they did, “Lord, To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that you are the Christ, the son of the living God.” But would you really? Everything Jesus said to the people that day would lead a person to believe He was preaching cannibalism not the Good News of God. Don’t you know it took a lot of courage for the disciples to say what they did. The pressure on them to leave Him must have been great. All the other people who heard Jesus say, “Whoso eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day” left him and followed Him no more. Apparently every one but the twelve thought He was a madman despite the miracles He was doing for the people. In the question, “Would you also like to go away?” Jesus was asking His disciples to make a decision about who He was to them. Peter said to Him, “We believe and are sure that you are the Christ, the son of the living God.” Peter’s answer was a good answer, the right answer, the only answer they could arrive at and be a disciple of His.

Today we are confronted by this same question every time a problem arises in our life. At that time, we have to choose to follow Christ Jesus even if we don’t understand why things are the way they are, and there doesn’t appear to be an apparent solution to our problem. We are being forced to make a decision concerning Christ Jesus, the Word of God, and His teachings. Do we really believe He has the answer to our problem, or do we leave Him and go seeking a solution somewhere else. The crowd of people in this story departed from Him and followed Him no more. So the next time we are faced with a dilema and this question is posed to us, “Will we, or won’t we, arrive at the same conclusion Peter and the other disciples arrived at that day.” If we come to the same conclusion they did, we will have made a wise decision. If not, we will have made an unwise decision and we will suffer the consequences of our actions. Christ Jesus does in fact have the words of eternal life, and we must eat those words (eat His body) for our edification and partake of the blood (drink His blood) that was shed to cover our sins if we want to enjoy eternity with Him. Peter understood this and looked past the words he didn’t understand knowing full well at some time he would understand what Jesus was talking about on this day. I hope for our sake we come to the same conclusion Peter and the other disciples came to, and overlook what we don’t presently understand because we will come to understand them at some point in the future. DThrash

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1 Comment

  1. Ryan McGivern

    Good post! It seems that many still think that Jesus was a wacko when he said: ‘give everything you have to the poor then come follow me’ and ‘its easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich person enter heaven.’
    I hope that just as we have accepted and practice communion based on Jesus hard teaching of ‘body/blood’, we start implimenting radical reform to create egalitarian communities of economic justice.
    Thanks for the food for thought–
    Ryan

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