Sunday, March 30, 2014

Jesus, the Creator of Mankind

Stworzenie Adama by Tadeusza Kowalskiego
I think that anyone who has attempted to read John's Gospel quickly realizes that he or she is in deep spiritual waters. Granted, it is the Word of God; but John's Gospel reads differently than many other parts of Scripture. We are dealing with an author who uses not only straight forward statements but often play on words and subtle illusion to communicate the truth about Christ.

In his prologue John asserts Jesus's divinity. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God....And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (Jn 1:1,14). But he brings this same truth out in the subtle details he provides in his narrative too, showing Jesus to be the Creator the Jewish people read of in the Book of Genesis.

The first example can be seen in the Gospel for this Fourth Sunday of Lent, when Jesus healed the man born blind.  I'll begin my quotation with Jesus's words to the disciples:
"...While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
When he had said this, he spat on the ground
and made clay with the saliva,
and smeared the clay on his eyes,
and said to him,
“Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” —which means Sent—.
So he went and washed, and came back able to see. (Jn 9:5-7)
Just as God, in the beginning, had said "Let there be light" (Gen 1:3), so Jesus came to bring light to the world. God formed Man from the dust of the ground (Gen 2:7); and here Jesus shows His divinity in the recreation of Man, making clay from the ground to restore the man's sight. (Washing in the pool is a wonderful image for how Christ recreates us and heals our spiritual blindness  in Baptism).

The second example that jumps to mind is when Jesus appeared to the Apostles on the night of the Resurrection:

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (Jn 20:21-23)

The same God who made the man he had formed from dust into a "living being" by "breath[ing] into his nostrils the breath of life" (Gen 2:7), was there that night recreating them as sons in the only begotten Son! 
Do you see what I mean about John's Gospel? It's all of these little nuances that make Scripture so incredibly deep, and why it merits a lifetime of study.

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