Friday, June 09, 2023

Only one thing excludes us…

In wonderful simplicity, in the story of the Feet-Washing, John has shown us that the life and the death of Jesus are one. The whole life and activity of the Saviour is God stooping down to sinful, lost humanity, God reconciling sinful man, alienated by his sin, to Himself, through the “coming” of the Son, through whom God has “visited and redeemed His People”. All that Jesus does and all that He teaches is directed towards man, who is "lost", not in order to judge him or to “lecture” him, but in order to save him, to bring him back to God, in order that the broken fellowship between God and man may be restored. Jesus Himself has described this with incomparable power in the parable of the Good Shepherd who goes forth into the wilderness to find His sheep “which is lost”. Jesus is not concerned with “them that are whole”, but only with “them that are sick”; hence anyone who regards himself as “whole” has no share in Him and His gift. The poverty of Jesus, His renunciation of success and human reputation, is the outpouring of this love to sinful man as such; it springs naturally out of this movement of His whole life towards this world of ours; His one aim is to lift man who is “down there” upwards into communion with God. From this standpoint we can understand that constant opposition to self-righteous Pharisaism, which runs right through the life of Jesus upon earth. Nothing excludes us from saving communion with Jesus except the conviction that we do not need to be “saved”.—Emil Brunner, The Christian Doctrine of Creation and Redemption, 279

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