August 24, 2022
Don R. Elly, M. Div.
I’ve been reflecting lately on what I am called to do as a follower of Jesus Christ. Am I called to live my life by the examples of Jesus life that are reflected in the Gospels, not just the Synoptics, but also the Gospel of John? Each of the Gospels gives us a unique perspective. Reflecting on each can give us a multi-dimensional reflection of the unique understanding of Jesus.
Matthew for example makes clear that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Torah and the Prophets. The clearest example of this is Jesus speaking from a Mountain and offering an interpretation of the Law and Prophets that does not replace these authorities. It intensifies their directions, calling for a life lived in obedience to God revealed in the Law and Prophets (the Hebrew Bible). Following Jesus is to follow the Way and Jesus makes the Word human.
Mark’s Gospel stresses the urgency of Jesus as not just announcing the Good News, but in his birth by Mary and the Holy Spirit, assisted by Joseph (as Jesus’ stepfather) is the Good News. Oddly enough this understanding of Jesus is similar to John’s Gospel who proclaims that Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit are one, but abide together. Jesus as God is the creative active Word of God taking human form. This makes being human not just a biological process, but dare I say it a sacramental choice in which every life—human and animal—has divine significance.
My favorite Gospel is Luke. It is clear from Biblical Scholarship that the author of Luke wrote first to share the reign of God breaking into to human existence to counter all other authorities. In Jesus Luke is clear God is out make human life now the stage on which God wants human life to break the bonds of oppression in all forms, and usher in a transforming and contrasting way of life for all of us.
The book of Acts declares that what happened in the life of Jesus is now continuing in the Body of Christ as it bears witness to “the Beloved Community” being the fellowship God calls us to in following Jesus. It continues to be a privilege and challenge to identify what God is calling me to do to bear witness to the way of Jesus. May the Holy Spirit continue to be a source of God’s strength and power flowing through me. Jesus, continue to reveal yourself to me as your Living Word that keeps me alive, awake and aware.