Thursday 15 December 2011

Who do you say Jesus is? Has your response resulted in a transformed identity? Isa 56:1-3, 6-8; Jn 5:33-36

As we near Christmas, the readings make more and more explicit who Jesus really is. In the text of today, which compares John with Jesus, the point is clearly made that Jesus is superior in every way. This testimony is offered, not only by Jesus, but also by John who is just one of the other witnesses that testify to Jesus. John witnessed to Jesus when he witnessed to the truth, since Jesus is the Truth. Jesus does not need this testimony because he knows who he is and God has testified to him. Thus, he needs no human testimony. Yet, it is given because people are swayed by such testimony. John was a mere lamp in contrast to Jesus, who was the light and to whom John testified. The people were happy to accept from John’s testimony only what suited them. They conveniently rejected what did not suit them. Another witness to who Jesus is, are the works that Jesus does, which here do not seem to refer only to the miracles that Jesus worked, but to the whole of his ministry. This was a ministry that he received directly from God and thus, was a greater testimony to his person and mission than John could ever be. God bears witness to who Jesus is.  Jesus does, and completes, the works of God.

The text of today invites us to ask ourselves who Jesus is for us. He is one sent from God and always seeks to do God’s will. In all that he does, he points to God. He is the one who has come to give life and draw people to God by giving them a new, transformed, identity. This is what one has to realize and accept if one desires the transformation that Jesus effects. There can be, on the one hand, an attitude of rejection of Jesus and his witness and thus, a rejection of the transformed identity or, there can be an acceptance in faith of Jesus as the revelation of God who comes that we may have life in abundance.

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