JESUS SAYS, "I AM……..", SO WHAT?
We know that John’s Gospel is different from the other gospels included in
the Bible. Written some 20-30 years later, there are far fewer miracles and
instead of parables, John presents Jesus’ teaching in "discourses". The
style is more intimate and as a whole, the Gospel is said to be more
"spiritual". But, why is it different, and what does that mean for us
reading it today?
It has some very distinctive features. The prologue presents Jesus as "The
Word" that is God, existing throughout eternity, emphasised further when
Jesus says "Before Abraham was, I am!" and there is, what has been said to
be, the one verse that sums up the whole Bible (3:16).
In the seven "I am" statements, John has Jesus using powerful metaphors
relating to basic sustenance, light and life to explain what He is about.
It has been said that through his use of these statements, John is wrestling
with his own understanding in response to many of the confused arguments of
the early church (Stephen Dawes in "The Reader" Vol 106:1 p5).
So while we might think of the gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke providing a
more narrative account, the "What?" if you like, perhaps John challenges us
to consider the "So what?". "God so loved the world….", so what? Jesus
is "the bread of life", so what? Jesus is "the light of the world", so
what? Jesus is "The Word" existing throughout eternity, so what?
So what for a Christian struggling with life under the rule of Rome in the
late 1st Century, so what for each of us struggling with life in the 21st
Filed under: Daily Readings