Wednesday

John, the Fourth Gospel, and Jesus



I am not sure that John wrote the Fourth Gospel. Scholars attribute the gospel to one person who knew Jesus and then to a redactor or two. The information written in the gospel was passed down through oral tradition and then written and revised.

Whoever the source may be, the understanding of Christ is that he is God and that God can be seen in him. Kysar writes in the "Anchor Bible Dictionary" that "the evangelist" strove to describe Christ through a series of metaphors, or "images" to "articulate the unique function and identity of Jesus “(section G1).

For instance, Jesus is the Word, or logos. He is the wisdom and movement behind creation. He is the "self-expression" of God (section G 1a). Jesus is "I am"--the same name that God revealed to Moses. Because he is God, Jesus is the source of everything. He is the bread of life, the living water, the light of the world. The words of Jesus are equated with the very words of God. Accepting Christ's testimony is the same as accepting God's will.

According to Kysar, the Johannine community referred to Jesus as the “Son of God”, “The Son”, “Son of Man”, “only Son”, “only Son of God”. All of these titles express Christ’s deity and the “unique bond of both identity and function between Jesus and God” (Section G 1c). The title “Son of man” is associated with the cross and “Son of God” is associated with “what he is and does” (Section G1c)

From my reading so far, Johannine Christiology is wrapped up in the nature of Christ and his relationship with God the Father. Because Christ is God, he is the source of humanity’s deepest needs; he is our food, our water and our light. Through Jesus we see the Father. Through Jesus we understand what God’s will for humanity is and that God loves us.