A Familiar Refrain

John 7:25-31

25 Now some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Is not this the man whom they are trying to kill? 26 And here he is, speaking openly, but they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Messiah? 27 Yet we know where this man is from; but when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.” 28 Then Jesus cried out as he was teaching in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I am from. I have not come on my own. But the one who sent me is true, and you do not know him. 29 I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.” 30 Then they tried to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31 Yet many in the crowd believed in him and were saying, “When the Messiah comes, will he do more signs than this man has done?”  NRSV

If you have followed along with these meditations on John’s gospel, you will recognize a familiar refrain coming from Jesus, “I have not come on my own. But the one who sent me is true, and you do not know him. 29 I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.”  In John’s gospel, Jesus consistently claims his unity with God without directly stating it, at least not this early in this gospel.

In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus is much shier about claiming his unity with God, using self-descriptive phrases like “son of man.” The differences between John and the other three gospels are quite important to acknowledge. It is believed these differences are, in part, because of the gnostic influence upon John discussed in yesterday’s “thought for the day.” No gospel is more right in telling the story about Jesus than any other. They are all written with contextual bias toward the authors’ audiences just as, today, three people who witness the same event would describe what they saw differently. Same event described from three different points of view.

John’s perspective has provided us with some wonderful insights about Jesus not found in the other three. We should cherish his gospel for the gift it is to all the followers of Jesus.

Be a blessing to someone today!

 

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