Monday, December 5, 2011

Gospel Text for Sunday, 11 December 2011

John 1:6-8,19-28
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, "I am not the Messiah." And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the prophet?" He answered, "No." Then they said to him, "Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" He said, "I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, `Make straight the way of the Lord,'" as the prophet Isaiah said. Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, "Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?" John answered them, "I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal." This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.

1 comment:

  1. Who are you? Who is God? At the root of our Christian tradition lie these two questions, questions of identity. John the Baptizer is the first person introduced in John’s gospel, immediately following the description of the ever and eternal Logos, Jesus. Noting that, it must be important to understand who John is. So the priests and Levites come and ask the question, “Who are you John?” John is John, the witness who came to testify that Jesus is the light of the world. John is not a prophet, not the Messiah. John is a reliable witness. John understands who he is, the one sent to convince the priests and Levites (and us, the readers) to believe him and most importantly, to believe in the One of whom he speaks. we all need a lot of convincing.

    For me the very fact that this amazing story of the Incarnate Logos begins with a witness tells me something about the situation, that people need to be convinced. John tells us that everything we are about to hear Jesus say and see Jesus do in the story that follows of his ministry on earth is evidence of Jesus’ messianic identity, signs that Jesus is the One who “was with God from the beginning,” who is the” light and life of all people.” Jesus is the one among us whom we “do not know.” And so John is sent to be a witness, to prepare us to receive the Messiah, to take us out of the darkness and into the light.

    Which of course leads us to the questions, who am I? who are you? If we believe what John the Baptizer is saying, we receive the light and life that is Jesus. Receiving the light and life of Jesus, we become the children of God’s will. If on the other hand we do not believe, we remain in the dark, having no idea who we really are. Who are you? A believer? A non-believer?