08112021 – John 6. 35, 41-51

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

If I asked you THAT QUESTION – or simply asked you TO DESCRIBE YOURSELF – WHAT – would you say about yourself?

Sometimes in “small break-out groups” – where “no one knows each other,” – they ask you to say something about yourself. Who are you?  Where are you from?

How did you get here?  What are your expectations?

And of course “the stuff we say” always changes over time…

Last month I was engaged. Today, I am MARRIED.

Three weeks ago, I became a MOTHER.

Last week I worked in accounting. Friday, I RETIRED.

We just ADOPTED our first child.

Two weeks ago I was gainfully employed. Yesteday, I received a PINK SLIP.

Four years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. Today, I  am a cancer SURVIVOR.

“Who WE ARE,” and “HOW” we see ourselves CHANGES over time.

Given the question:  “WHO ARE YOU?”…Some of us might “HEM AND HAW” and might NOT QUITE KNOW “what to say,” while “others” can talk about themselves and their accomplishments seemingly forever…nonstop.  Blah, blah, blah…

Almost as if, they practiced it, rehearsed it…it just spews out…rolls right off the old tongue smoothly and efficiently.

I always expect to hear things like your occupation, marital status, achievements etc – the sort of information we SPIT OUT when we are introduced to “NEW PEOPLE” at a party or when meeting someone NEW for the very first time…

WHO ARE YOU?  IT changes…kind of…

We are bombarded by messages from “our CULTURE” – all around us “the MEDIA” “BILLBOARDS, VIDEOS, MAGAZINES AND BOOKS, the Internet, FaceBook, TicToc (all forms of social media)– even the news” – urge us to strive for “SUCCESS, BEAUTY and PERFECTION.”

Apparently, IT IS OK to toot your own horn SOMETIMES, because if you don’t – WHO WILL?  So go for it!  I guess…

Or, is it maybe “a turn off for some?

Which is what people “MUST HAVE THOUGHT” as they listened to Jesus…at least according to John – here in the 6th chapter.

WHAT DOES “HE SAY” ABOUT HIMSELF?

Imagine hearing THIS for the very FIRST TIME:

“I AM the bread that came down from heaven.” 

‘I have come down from heaven’?” 

“No one can come to me unless DRAWN by the Father who SENT ME; and I WILL raise that person up on the last day.”

 “Everyone who has heard and learned FROM THE FATHER comes to ME.”

“Not that ANYONE has SEEN the Father except “THE ONE” who is FROM God; HE has SEEN the Father.”

“I AM the bread of life.”

“I AM the living bread that CAME DOWN from heaven.”

“Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I WILL GIVE for the life of the world is MY FLESH.”

WHO is this guy?  WHO talks about themselves, like this?

I-I-I-I, JUST WHO DOES HE THINK HE IS?

Is he BLOWING HIS OWN HORN?

Is he exaggerating? Is he nothing more than a BLOWHEART?

Is he some kind of a religious zealot, a nutjob, a nutcase? Is he SERIOUS?

Just who is THIS GUY…and WHO DOES HE THINK HE IS?

And that’s when the murmuring kicked into high gear. 

We KNOW HIM.  We know all about him. He is from here.  This is son of Joseph of Nazareth.  WHY IS HE TALKING LIKE THIS?

And immediately, they took offense at him!

And we understand that.  It was a little too close to home.  People obviously felt comfortable with him, but NOT WITH HIS WORDS.

His words seemed so odd and foreign coming from a local kid from Nazareth.

Remember in an honor and shame society…you NEVER said anything about YOURSELF…instead…you allowed OTHERS to speak for you.

To talk about yourself was to shame yourself.  To have OTHERS speak HIGHLY OF YOU – was to increase your honor.

Jesus was WAY OUT OF LINE here…no wonder they took offense at him!

He was talking like he was God or something.  Just WHO did he think HE WAS?

 

Amen.