Years ago there was a brilliant man on television that rocked the ratings landscape by beating other prime time competition with a chalkboard, a cape, good stories and a sense of humor. His name was Bishop Fulton Sheen. He said many things that were profound but he was always aware that the truth he spoke to was greater than himself. One year his show “Life Worth Living” won an Emmy award. He said, “I would like to thank my staff writers. Mathew, Mark, Luke and John.”
But another point he made was that, unlike leaders of other world religions, Jesus came pre-announced. One who is a Christian believer would point to Old Testament prophets to illustrate that point. But if one sees John the Baptist, they see him foretelling the arrival of Jesus and giving the world an introduction. Looking at his life one can see he did this with the utmost reverence.
A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world,
and the world came to be through him,
but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own,
but his own people did not accept him (John 6:6-11)
He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him- – If one sees the body of Christianity correctly in Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scriptures held up by the Church Jesus later founded, the same goes as a calling for more than one baptizer at a river. The message of Jesus was intended to be more than what is for just one man or through one man. The eventual community to be founded would be of many witnesses. “Therefore, we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1).
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world- – If one gets the solid objections of their spiritual life out of the way, then anyone can know Jesus. There are “if’s” that unfold in the gospels. If one is born again by Spirit and water (John 3:3). If you believe and are baptized.
He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him- – This is a tragic paradox. Jesus was coming to the Jewish people who had historically know divinity but through thunder, clouds and earthquakes. God is shown here in the Son, Jesus Christ, as too simple to be true to religious tastes common to them at that time. But in the beginning, the world was made by Jesus as the Logos or the expressed wisdom of eternity that stepped into time first to create more than the Jewish people but the whole world. In another way of speaking, in their disconnected form of religion that was contrary to the light and intimacy God wants to have with mankind they knew of God but did not naturally get Him. But ready or nor, here he comes on the Jordan River and today in ways to be received objectively and subjectively.
The key to “getting” Jesus is not through the lens of the Law but through the lens of love. It is to be experienced in material contexts and contextualized by a growing movement of articulated grace and truth that sprouts from the nature of Jesus (John 1:17). To move forward in investigating the text of scripture is to not to lose a healthy context of the latter. Yes, the gospel is bigger than any one of us.