Wednesday 2 January 2013

Is “your” Jesus BIG or have you pigeonholed him?

If you wish to read the texts click on the texts:  1 Jn 2:29– 3:6; Jn 1:29-34

This text deals with the witness of John on the second day. On this day, he testifies to Jesus who is the light. Though Jesus appears on the scene on the second day, the focus on this day is on the testimony of John. In his testimony, he uses four titles to describe who Jesus is. These are: Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, the pre-existent one, the vehicle of the Spirit and Son of God.
Lamb of God is a symbol used to refer to both the suffering servant of God and the Passover lamb, the lamb that is led to the slaughter. By using the singular “sin” John refers to Jesus as the one who will take away the collective sin of the whole world.
The pre-existent one is already mentioned in the prologue as the Word who was with God in the beginning.
Jesus is the vehicle of the Spirit, because he had seen the Spirit descend on Jesus and has been told by God how this event must be interpreted. Finally, Jesus is the Son of God because he shares a unique relationship with God and reveals him as no one has even done before. Since he is Son, he is competent to reveal God as father.

The reason why John uses so many titles for Jesus is because Jesus is a mystery that cannot be captured by this or that title. He means different things to different people. Each comes to him with their expectations and each encounters him uniquely. However, even after all titles are used for Jesus, we must remember that he is one of the titles, he is all of the titles and he remains above all titles. We require openness and receptivity because God keeps revealing himself in ways we can never imagine. Any kind of limitation that we may impose on this revelation, any restriction that we set on it may result in precluding the freshness with which Jesus always comes to us. To insist only on one or other name for Jesus is to miss the fullness of his grace, peace and love, indeed it is to miss the fullness of life.

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