Relativity and Dependence

A few random musings about the Gospel of John:

(1) Before Einstein, John had his own theory of relativity. The value of anything is relative: if it is taken on its own, it’s not worth much, or dangerously deceptive. If taken in proper relation to Jesus, i.e. as a witness to Jesus, it is of great value.

John the Baptist? Good, so long as you know that “he confessed and did not deny, but confessed and told everyone, and you should listen because he himself said it and if you don’t listen to this you’ll get it all wrong: ‘I am not the Christ!'” Seriously. And in case you needed to be prepared for this denial and affirmation, “He was not the light, but came to give witness to the light. The true light was coming…”

Scripture? Good, so long as you don’t think that you can go a-runnin’ to Moses and find life from the self-contained law, the self-contained stories, “their scriptures.” Good, that is, so long as you recognize that “these testify about me.” They do not contain life in themselves, but as they refer you to the life-bringer.

Signs? Good, so long as you don’t think that getting your stomach filled is the thing. The sign is the testimony to the other, to the Jesus who is at work, to the Father who is at work through him.

(2) The Prologue introduces Jesus as God, but the book as a whole regularly depicts a derivative, subordinate place for the Son in relation to the Father. He can do what he has seen; he can perform acts that have been given to him; he makes known not his own glory but the glory of the Father.

That is all.

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