The Gospel of John reveals to us a God who is love. This love is at once transcendent, beyond all our imagining, and immanent, present and tangible in the world around us. We encounter this mysterious paradox from the very first words of the Gospel, where we read that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….And the Word became flesh and lived among us.” This is John’s Revelation: The Word that is God comes down and takes on our humanity. The Greek term John uses, logos, has a much broader definition than our English “word.” It means a dynamic energy, the animating force. What becomes clear, as we come to know and understand Jesus through John’s writings, is that the energy and force of God is love. Love is God active in the world: Love is God made flesh and dwelling among us.
Throughout his life and ministry, Jesus embodies this active principle of love in the way he interacts with his friends and with strangers. We learn that “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Jesus demonstrates this radical love by offering his life for others on the cross.
But John’s Gospel does not end with Jesus’ death: It goes on to narrate his resurrection and the appearances he made to his followers. The fascinating thing about these sightings of the Risen Jesus is that the disciples do not recognize him at first. Jesus evidently no longer bears the same face his friends knew him to have in life. It is only when he speaks their name in love, or shows them his hands and his side, or summons them from the shore, that they recognize the Lord. The face of God, the face of love, in our lives is always changing. God will come to us in many different guises. Open your eyes today and wonder, “Where is God speaking my name in love, showing himself to me, summoning me to follow?”
How will God be revealed to you today?