HEELHEID-Week3-Dag1: Wie is Jesus?/Who is Jesus?

Tom Wright het gesê …

Die Woord het vlees geword en het onder ons gewoon. Neem dit weg en die ware Christelike geloof stort ineen. Baie mense spot met die idee van die inkarnasie, van God wat mens geword het. Maar dit is sentraal. Dit is nie onderhandelbaar nie … Die betekenis van die woord ‘God’ word eintlik gedefinieer in verhouding tot hierdie Jesus wat ons glo van God gekom het en in ons midde mens geword het. Neem dit weg en ons weet eenvoudig nie meer wie God is nie. Sy (Johannes) hele brief, soos ons reg aan die einde sien, is om vas te hou aan die ware God en om die eise van die afgode te verwerp. En die manier waarop ons die ware God ken is deur Jesus. Jy kan dit nie systap nie (Uit: The early Christian letters for everyone. James, Peter, John and Judah)

1 Joh 1:1-2: Van die begin af was Hy daar. Ons het Hom self gehoor; ons het Hom met ons eie oë gesien; ja, ons het Hom gesien en met ons hande aan Hom geraak. Hy is die Woord, die Lewe. Die Lewe het gekom; ons het Hom gesien en is getuie daarvan, en ons verkondig aan julle die Ewige Lewe wat by die Vader was en aan ons geopenbaar is. 2:22,23: Wie is die leuenaar anders as hy wat nie wil erken dat Jesus werklik die Christus is nie? Hý is die antichris, hy wat nie die Vader en die Seun wil erken nie. Wie nie die Seun erken nie, verwerp ook die Vader; wie die Seun erken, erken ook die Vader.

Jesus! Dit lyk vir my of hierdie woord verskillende emosies by mense oproep. Of moet ek liewer sê: hierdie persoon roep verskillende emosies op. Ek het heel dikwels vir my studente gesê dat ons onmiddellik ’n stuk teologie oproep wanneer ons Jesus se naam op ons lippe neem. Immers, iets gebeur in ons as ons sy naam noem.

Soms vul dit mense met weersin. Ons sien dit in die Midde Ooste en ander dele van die wêreld. Jesus is nie welkom nie. Dis hoekom sy volgelinge selfs met hulle lewe betaal. Daar is natuurlik ook mense rondom jou wat niks met Hom te doen wil hê nie. Hulle verwerp Hom in hulle lewe en skaar hulle op hierdie manier by die mense wat Jesus gekruisig het. Weg met Hom! Dan is daar ’n meer subtiele verwerping van Jesus. Hy was ’n goeie mens. Hy was ’n wonderlike voorbeeld. Hy het mooi dinge gesê. Dis waardevol vir ons lewe. Ons kan dit gebruik om die wêreld ’n beter plek te maak.

Hierdie laaste siening is egter nie genoeg om jouself ’n Christen te klassifiseer nie. Johannes maak in sy eerste brief baie duidelik dat die manier waarop ons oor Jesus dink en wat ons van Hom glo die verskil tussen lewe en dood, waarheid en leuen, donker en lig, kinders van God of kinders van die duiwel is. Jy sien, Jesus kan ons nie heelmaak as Hy net ’n gewone mens is nie. Hy kan nie ons nie van ons sonde bevry as hy net ’n mens is nie. Johannes maak duidelik dat Jesus God self is. Ja, Hy was ’n mens. Johannes sê dat hy aan Jesus geraak het. Hy het Hom gesien. Hy het Hom gehoor. Tog was hierdie Jesus van altyd af daar – van alle ewigheid af! (1:1). Sonder hierdie Jesus ken ons nie die Vader nie.

Ons lewe maak slegs sin, kan slegs heel word wanneer ons God self in Jesus sien en vertrou. Dis wat die evangelies beskryf – Jesus doen wat net God kan doen: Hy maak heel, vergewe, sit die bose op sy plek, wek dooies op, maak storms stil en oorwin die dood!

Jesus Christus, ons dank U dat U die mag het om ons te bevry en heel te maak! Amen.

Tom Wright said…

The word became flesh and lived among us. Take that away, and true Christian faith crashes to the ground. Many people have poured scorn on the very idea of incarnation, of God actually becoming human. It remains a huge claim, as it always was. But it’s central. It’s non-negotiable…The meaning of the word ‘God’ is actually defined in relation to the Jesus who, we believe, came from this God and became flesh in our midst. Take that away, and we simply don’t know who God is any more. John’s whole letter, as we see right at the end, is about holding on to the true God and rejecting the claims of idols. And the way we know the true God is through Jesus. You can’t get round that (From: The early Christian letters for everyone. James, Peter, John and Judah.)

1 John 1:1,2 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 2:22,23: Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist – denying the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

Jesus! It seems to me that this word evokes different emotions. Or should I rather say: this person evokes different and sometimes extreme emotions. I have often told my students that we speak theology the moment we take Jesus’ name on our lips. After all, something happens in us when we use his name.

Sometimes it fills people with disgust. We see this in the Middle East and other parts of the world. Jesus is not welcome. That’s why his followers even pay with their lives. There are also people around you that want nothing to do with him. They rejected Him in their lives and sided by doing so with those who have crucified Christ. Away with him! Then there is a more subtle rejection of Jesus. He was a good man. He was a great example. He said nice things. It is valuable for our lives. We can use it to make the world a better place.

Yet, this last view about Jesus is not enough to classify us as Christians. John makes it very clear in his first letter that the way we think about Jesus and what we believe about him make the difference between life and death, truth and falsehood, dark and light, children of God or children of the devil. You see, Jesus cannot heal us completely if He is just an ordinary person. He cannot free us from our sins if He was just a human being. John makes it clear that Jesus is God. Yes, He was a human being. John says that he walked with Jesus. He had seen him. He heard him. He touched Him. Yet, this Jesus was always there – from all eternity! (1:1). Without Jesus, we do not know the Father.

Our life only makes sense, will only be healed, when we see God himself in Jesus. The Gospels describe Him this way – Jesus does what only God could do: He heals, forgives, overcomes evil, raises the dead, stills the storms and conquers death!

Jesus Christ, we thank you that you have the power to free us and heal us! Amen.

 

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