Monday, October 31, 2011
Blog # 201 John Chapter 6- 2
John Chapter 6 - 2 I am thoroughly convinced of the absolute importance of our faith in the divinity of Jesus in general as the foundation of our unconditional trust in Jesus and our total love for Him. I see its absolute importance also in particular in order to have a proper and complete understanding of Chapter 6 and its application in our use of that Chapter for our own personal growth in holiness and in possible discussions we might have with fellow Christians who are separated from us in serious matters of faith. Let's review some of the indicators we can discover in John's Gospel that can help us realize how John invites us always to keep the notion of the divinity of Jesus in clear focus. Matthew begins his Gospel with a family record of Jesus beginning with Abraham and continues through a long list of fathers and sons down to Joseph the husband of Mary, it being "of her that Jesus who is called the Messiah was born". "Here begins the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God." Mark begins his Gospel that way and proceeds immediately into the story of John the Baptist in the desert and the fully grown Jesus coming to John to be baptized. Luke begins his Gospel telling his friend Theophilus his purpose in writing his Gospel was to show Theophilus how reliable was the instruction that Theophilus received. This brief introduction is followed by the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth and the conception of John the Baptist. John begins his gospel in the same way and words the Bible itself begins, with God, "In the beginning...". Genesis goes on to give us the story of creation with God as the sole Creator of all that exists. John has this: "In the beginning was the Word; the Word was in God's presence, and the Word was God.Through him all things came into being, and apart from him nothing came to be...The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." On the occasion of the Baptism of Jesus by John, John identifies Jesus as "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world". With a little reflection we can see this identification as a proclamation of the divinity of Jesus since only God can take away sin. Thirty times in John's Gospel Jesus confidently identifies himself as being "sent by the Father". Jesus made some clear and strong statements in favor of His divinity in discussions and arguments with the Pharisees. 'if you knew me, you would know the Father too." ( Jn 8:19, and 14:7). "I and the Father are one." (Jn 10:30). "I did indeed come from the Father; I came into the world". )Jn 16:18). "Whatever the Father does, the son does likewise." (Jn 5:19). The story of the raising of Lazarus clearly presents Jesus as divine. (Jn 11:1-27). On one occasion in His prayer Jesus identifies Himself in union with the Father before the world began. "Do you now, Father give me glory at your side, a glory I had with you before the world began.? (17:5). "Philip...Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. (14:9). Finally we have it this way: " I solemnly declare it: before Abraham came to be,I AM". (Jn 8:37) Here Jesus uses in reference to Himself the same expression God used with Moses when Moses asked Him how should the one who sent him to Pharaoh be identified. Having identified some of the claims of Jesus for His divinity in the Gospel of John we can now go on to apply our faith in that divinity to Chapter 6 . I hope you are still with me!