It goes something like this - Jesus never claimed to be God. Making Jesus equal to God was something the Church came up with later. But not something Jesus taught.
And it falls apart when you hear today’s Gospel. Or pretty much the rest of John.
Sometimes it’s indirect, sometimes (like today) it’s direct. But over and over, Jesus tells us – and shows us – that He is God. And not just in the Gospel of John.
Claiming to be God tells us something about who Jesus really is. Because only a liar, or someone who is mentally ill, would claim to be God.
Unless it’s actually true.
That leaves us with three choices when it comes to Jesus. Jesus is either is someone to be avoided. Or someone who needs help. Badly.
But whatever we decide about Jesus, the one choice Jesus doesn’t give us – if we’re honest – is to treat Jesus like an important historical figure.
Or even a great moral teacher. On the same level as Moses. Or the Buddha. Or Mohammed. None of whom claimed to be God.
If we take Jesus at His word, then Jesus is either of no importance. Or of supreme importance. The only thing Jesus cannot be is moderately important.