Knowing God – Br. David Vryhof

Br. David Vryhof

John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

Each of the gospel writers has come to know Jesus and in his gospel is trying to convey his understanding to others in order that they, too, might believe in Jesus.  For Mark, Jesus is the “Son of God,” proclaiming the good news that the “kingdom of God” has come near (Mk 1:1,14).  For Matthew, he is “the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Mt 1:1).  For Luke, he is the “Son of God” (Lk 1:35), the one whose miraculous birth was foretold by an angel (Lk 1:30-33).  For John, he is “the Word” who was “with God” and who “was God” from before all time, and who has taken on himself our human nature (Jn 1:1-2, 14): “The Word became flesh and lived among us,” John tells us.

 The gospel writers declare openly what they believe about Jesus’ identity, but throughout their narratives, we see people – including Jesus’ own disciples – struggling to grasp what the evangelists have already come to believe.

In today’s gospel passage from John, the question of Jesus’ identity is, once again, at the forefront.  The people of Jerusalem have heard of this teacher-healer from Nazareth in Galilee and know that the authorities are trying to kill him.  They wonder aloud why Jesus is being allowed to preach so openly among them.  But they also claim to know him, or at least know something about him.  “We know where this man is from,” they say, “[how can he be the Messiah?]” Read More

Extraordinary! – Br. Jim Woodrum

Br. Jim Woodrum

John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

In today’s gospel from John, Jesus is preaching quite boldly in the Temple precincts during the Festival of Booths.  He was drawing large crowds and they were listening to him in amazement because they knew that the religious authorities were hostile towards him.  Yet, here he was in plain sight preaching the gospel and for a moment we hear the crowds carefully considering whether this could be the messiah.

But as soon as they ask the question to themselves they shrug it off, rationalizing their doubts and returning to an almost comical quip about Jesus’ origins.  This passage in the Revised Standard Version of the New Testament reads:  Can it be that the authorities have really discovered that this is the Anointed One of God?  But He cannot be because we know where He comes from.  This is significant.  You may remember earlier in John’s gospel when Philip approaches Nathaniel and says “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.”46Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”’[i] Read More