Trinitarian Reformational

An integrated vision

Biblical Reflection 2: Jesus the Son of God

In that we know Jesus, we know the one through whom all things were created and for whom all things are designed.

The focus in John’s Gospel with regard to who Jesus is on his activity in the world at one with God and humanity: as creator, redeemer and lord. His identity, as presented in the Gospel is a dynamic one, not one that can be presented in static terms; but it is not a dynamic which begins with the Incarnation – it is one which overarches and sustains the entire drama of creation, redemption and glorification. Jesus, the one born among us is the one who was before all things, and the one in whom all history takes its meaning and end. This is not something new in John’s Gospel, but John draws upon the OT, and develops an account strongly complementary to the Synoptic tradition. Far from setting his account of the distinctiveness and pre-incarnate history of Christ over against the history and traditions of the Jews, John in his Gospel is asserting that in Jesus, and only in Jesus, all the central traditions of the OT find their fulfilment.

In Genesis 32, Jacob wrestles with the divine man in the Old Testament, and in Matthew, where Peter similarly encounters Jesus walking on the water. In both cases (if we take the latter encounter to presage Peter’s confession at Caesarea a Philipi), there is a change of name involved: something which can only properly come from an encounter with God by whom we are named.

Both Jacob/Israel’s and Simon/Peter’s encounters are temporally specific – that are about a critical event. The encounter has significance beyond that particular moment: Jacob and Simon cannot be the same again, again. But that does not involve their abstraction from history, since they are renamed for God’s purposes in history: Jacob as the patriarch of the patriarchs in the calling of Israel as the bearer of God’s promised in the Old Testament, and Peter, as the disciples, who become the apostles, the chief witnesses to the resurrected Jesus and the foundation, upon Christ, for the covenantal community which Jesus brings into being.

It is in the fully human Jesus that the personality of God is known, and the personality of Jesus is none other than the personality of God. The Son is the one in whom all things cohere (Col. 1:15; see also 1 Cor. 8:6b and John 1:1) It is on this basis that Christ is Lord of all creation. It has been put famously by Abraham Kuyper:

‘…there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: “Mine!”’

This is a powerful vision of Christ as the ascended Lord, who rules not only with the authority of the Father but also by virtue of his own status as the one in whom and through whom all things were created. For Kuyper, the general principle of Calvinism involves what he calls ‘the cosmological significance of Christ’. In speaking of Christ’s ‘cosmological significance’, Kuyper has Christ’s redemptive role in view here, as well as his prior creative one. Christ is redeemer of all creation because he is creator of all. For this reason, Christ’s work includes the restoration of the entire cosmos not simply the redemption of individual sinners.

Jeremy Ive

New International Version (NIV)

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

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February 9, 2009 - Posted by | Christian Worldview

2 Comments »

  1. Greetings in the Name of Jesus!

    WORDPRESS says that our two blogs are related, so I came by to look–Please stop by my blog and let me know what you think: Jesus + Compassion.

    God bless you!

    Cd

    Comment by compassiondave | February 24, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks for being in touch

      Comment by jgaive | February 24, 2009 | Reply


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