Wednesday, December 18, 2019

So, is he or is he not?

Finally, does the prologue suggest that Jesus is the appropriate object of worship? In key places in the Gospel, a growing understanding of the identity of Jesus leads to belief in him, or in his name, and also to worship (e.g., the man born blind). Thomas’s confession is the climactic expression of a clarified understanding of Jesus’ identity: “My Lord and my God!” (Jn 20:28). This belief in Jesus is what is already espoused in the prologue. The prologue constitutes a confession of Jesus as uniquely participating in the divine (Jn 1:1-2), the source of light and life (Jn 1:3-5), revealing God’s glory in his flesh (Jn 1:14), and the source of grace and truth (Jn 1:16-17). Recognizing that other Second Temple—period psalms embody the worshipful result that their authors promote (e.g., Sir 39:12-35; 4Q437; Pss. Sol.), it is not a stretch to imagine that the prologue itself reflects this same dynamic.” The prologue embodies the confession of an appropriate response by one who has seen God’s glory in Jesus and become a child of God. As a hymnic confession it models for the reader an appropriate response of worship. Even if not a preformed hymn itself, it nevertheless reflects the kinds of acclamations of praise that were the appropriate response of the community to the presence of the risen Jesus among them. The prologue does not tell us about early Christian worship; rather, it invites us into the narrative about Jesus and models a confessional response to the revelation of the glory of God in Jesus.—Matthew Gordley, New Testament Christological Hymns, pp. 175–76 (emphasis original)

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