The Gospel According to John – 2017.12.17
The reading for today is revisionist narrative. It does not represent the teaching of Jesus.
It is false and propagandistic, it represents the worst tendencies of the early church to stifle dissent among its members and sweep its competitors, the followers of John among them, over the fast-hold of the threshing room.
Jesus was not God, the creator of the universe, and John was not sent by God to bar witness to anything.
John, and Jesus, like all prophets, bore witness to injustice and rose up to speak against it.
They were killed for it, put to death by the prevailing powers of their day.
In their heart, they heard the voice of God, in the same place where God dwells in each of us, as we were all created in the divine image, imago dei, we each bear a seed of God’s Word within us, and where God is present, God is present fully.
The light that John bore witness to, is a light that is within us all.
Christians are called to follow in the way of Jesus, as Jesus followed in the way of John; the way is a path of service, and sacrifice, be Christ like and anoint yourself with these, follow the light of these.
The Messenger, in the Wilderness
A man came, sent by God.
His name was John.
He came as a witness,
as a witness to speak for the light,
so that everyone might believe through him.
He was not the light,
only a witness to speak for the light.
This is how John appeared as a witness. When the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ he not only declared, but he declared quite openly, ‘I am not the Christ.’ ‘Well then,’ they asked ‘are you Elijah?’ ‘I am not’ he said. ‘Are you the Prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’ So they said to him, ‘Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself?’ So John said, ‘I am, as Isaiah prophesied:
a voice that cries in the wilderness:
Make a straight way for the Lord.’
Now these men had been sent by the Pharisees, and they put this further question to him, ‘Why are you baptising if you are not the Christ, and not Elijah, and not the prophet?’ John replied, ‘I baptise with water; but there stands among you – unknown to you – the one who is coming after me; and I am not fit to undo his sandal-strap.’ This happened at Bethany, on the far side of the Jordan, where John was baptising.
3rd Sunday of Advent