Saturday, December 24, 2011

John's Genealogy

We're going to do something really exciting this Christmas! We're going to look at genealogies! This is a homily, so I will be brief. If we look at the first chapter of Matthew, we find a genealogy going from Abraham to Jesus. The whole gospel exhibits the Jewish Messiah. This is the point of Matthew, and the genealogy is the keynote in this gospel.

Mark begins with the words, “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” We are going in a completely different direction here. This is confirmed in the gospel of Luke, when we follow a genealogy backward in time not to Abraham this time but to Adam, the original son of God, and Luke is a gospel that lifts up Jesus as the savior of mankind.

Now, we get to John, and the genealogy is carried back to all eternity. John goes deep. Jesus has a Divine eternal existence with God. Not separated: WITH God. Not just WITH God, but doing things, performing functions. Little things like CREATION, LIFE, and LIGHT. John's gospel isn't just dogma. He's revealing that Jesus' earthy life is just a continuance of something that had been going on behind the scenes for all ETERNITY. So, all of John's gospel show a Jesus who is simultaneously with God as he is with men and women.

John's gospel is the WHY of Jesus, the word made flesh. John's gospel is the WHY of Jesus' death on the cross. Voluntary surrender—pleasing to the Father—freely rendered on His own part. When we accept John's picture of Christ's earthly life as the visible half of a duplex whole—fully God and fully man—all our puzzles about Jesus vanish.

This is the most powerful lesson of Christmas.