Today's Gospel

[The] creator God so desires to intimately relate with each of us that he became one of us so we could know and understand him. Further . . . this god-man was rejected by those who should have recognized him, was betrayed by those closest to him, was torture[d] and beaten and finally put to the most shameful death imaginable under the powers of the day. Yet somehow this constituted his victory over those very powers as was vindicated by his resurrection and is now Lord of Heaven and Earth.

Scot McKnight



 


I would add some things to this, namely that this creator God can (only) be seen by looking at the first-century Jew, Jesus of Nazareth. In other words, Jesus of Nazareth revealed Israel's God, YHWH, the creator God. That at his resurrection he inagurated the New Creation. At that moment, the world changed. And now, because he is the world's true King, he demands believing obedience from the cosmos (Acts 17.30; Romans 1.5). And those of us who do believe this story are called into a scary vocation -- to implement that New Creation, the ultimate future of the cosmos here and now. The call of Jesus is 'Follow me' (John 21.22). For us to understand what that means, we need to go back to the beginning of John's gospel and read it with our eyes open. We are to confront the powers of the world, both religious and secular; seen and unseen, not with the 'weapons of the world' but with the self-giving, self-sacrificing love of God in our hearts. We who believe this story are called to be the words of Jesus made flesh. So, I would put it all together like this . . .


The cosmos is the 'very good' creation from the creator God, YHWH, the God of Israel. The creator God desired so much to intimately relate with each of us that he became one of us so we could know him. YHWH, the creator God can be seen by looking at the first-century Jew, Jesus of Nazareth. In other words, Jesus of Nazareth revealed Israel's God, YHWH, the creator God. This god-man was (mostly) rejected by the very people who should have recognized him, was betrayed by those closest to him, was tortured and beaten and finally put to the most shameful death imaginable under the powers of the day. Yet somehow this constituted his victory over those very powers as was vindicated by his resurrection. Because of his resurrection, Jesus is now Lord of Heaven and Earth. At that moment, the world changed. At his resurrection, Jesus inaugurated the New Creation. And now, because he is the world's true King, he demands believing obedience from the cosmos (Acts 17.30; Romans 1.5). Those of us who do believe this story are called into a scary vocation -- to implement that New Creation, the ultimate future of the cosmos, here and now. The call of Jesus is 'Follow me' (John 21.22). We are to confront the powers of the world, both religious and secular; seen and unseen, not with the 'weapons of the world' but with the self-giving, self-sacrificing love of God in our hearts. We who believe this story are called to be the words of Jesus made flesh.

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