November 13, 2007 – John – Jesus is the Word“The Gospel of John . . . is the product of a developed theological reflection . . . [and] proclaims Jesus as the preexistent and incarnate Word of God who has revealed the Father to us . . .” NAB 1986 intro, page 1133.
One of the major themes in this Gospel is the conflict between synagogue and church which “produced bitter and harsh invective, especially regarding the hostility toward Jesus of the authorities – Pharisees and Sadducees – who are combined and frequently referred to as the Jews”. These people are even accused as coming from the devil and demonstrating their separation from God through their opposition to Jesus – God’s Word to us. They show us how not to behave – in separation. Their lack of willingness to listen, lack of openness to ideas re-visited, their resistance to obeying God and finding unity are in the diverse voices of the Spirit are in direct opposition to the intimate relationship which their God offers to them. They do not see that God is longing to be one with them. They are too stubborn, too set, too hard of heart.
Something else I like about this Gospel is that women are not shown as inferior to men – I have always suspected that the writing of this particular book was heavily influenced by the women of the early church, which is possible for we do not know the true identity of the writer. Women in this version of the good news are shown as the first witnesses to the Resurrection and as missionaries of the Word.
Whenever I wonder what God is trying to say to me, I like to turn to this book with its soaring themes of intense hope that we too are divine and will live again in the next world, and of the righteous love which Jesus displays for each one of God’s people.
With what love the writer tells this story! Whether he or she be from Alexandria, Antioch or Ephesus . . . what is crystalline clear is that Jesus moved among these people with a pin-point focus on his goal . . . of assuring us in the clearest of ways that the Father loves us, the Son saves us, and the Spirit lives in us. We are so fortunate to know this man. We are so blessed to encounter him every day in God’s creation.
Thank you, Jesus . . .