I (Jeff) am currently teaching a 9th grade Bible class. Tomorrow, I am going to add a little 5 minute interlude into our class time. I am asking that each day, one student come to class with an example of one crazy thing that Jesus said.
As I think about it, I am reminded of something that C.S. Lewis wrote. He eloquently described how we must decide if the historic person of Jesus was either a lunatic, a liar, or truly who he said he was. As I have thought about it, I find that it is very easy to dismiss the possibility that he was a liar (i.e. he knew that he wasn't who he said he was, but he kept the charade going); there is just too much evidence to refute this theory. However I linger a little longer on the possibility that he was a lunatic i.e. he honestly believed he was who he said he was, but he really wasn't.
I guess someone could be sane and still say some "crazy" things, and maybe that is more the category of things I am talking about, but still, Jesus said some crazy - dare I say - insane things. My temptation is to gloss over these things, or to rationalize the things he said so that he fits into the image of a "good guy", a "good teacher", or a "moral man". However, he didn't intend to fit neatly into one of these categories...he actually had a snappy - challenging retort for the person that dared to call him "good". So, the challenge to myself is this: will I seriously meditate on the "crazy" things that Jesus said, or will I gloss over them, seeking to keep him manageable...on my terms?
I will share the comments from class on this blog as they occur, but for now I will leave you with the one that has been on my mind for a few months as I have been talking with a few guys here on the question of "who was Jesus?"
John 8:24 "...unless you believe that I AM who I claim to be (the one and only true God of the universe who happens to be standing in front of you in human form), you will die in your sins." (NLT) [emphasis mine]
Maybe it is just me, but that sounds a little crazy...yet, I am not ashamed to say that I believe him.