This is Jesus Christ

lightstock_213797_medium_fr._barnabas_

Who is Jesus Christ? There are so many answers to that question, and I guess the human race has been preoccupied with this question since the Lord came in the first place. But, we learn today that how we answer this question is a great deal more important than we may realize!

Look at our Lesson today in 2 John 1:1-13

The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth, and not only I but also all who know the truth, because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us for ever:

Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love.

I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children following the truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father. And now I beg you, lady, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we follow his commandments; this is the commandment, as you have heard from the beginning, that you follow love. For many deceivers have gone out into the world, men who will not acknowledge the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh; such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. Look to yourselves, that you may not lose what you have worked for, but may win a full reward. Any one who goes ahead and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God; he who abides in the doctrine has both the Father and the Son. If any one comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into the house or give him any greeting; for he who greets him shares his wicked work.

Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink, but I hope to come to see you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.

The children of your elect sister greet you. Amen.

This is the entire “book” (better to say “Epistle”) of 2nd John, and it turns out to be a letter to a “lady” and her “children.” Many have concluded that St. John is actually referring to the Church of a particular area and the congregation. So, that would mean that the “elect sister” he refers to at the end of this letter is a church also, probably the Church at Ephesus where John was at the time.

But notice St. John’s warning in this letter. Again, John, known as the Apostle of Love because of his emphasis on love in all of his writings, does the same here. And he uses strong language when he writes that he begs the Church to remember the commandment we have had since the beginning: Love one another.

St. John goes on to insist that when we love one another as we should, we actually insulate ourselves from wrong theology, specifically wrong beliefs about Who Jesus is! In fact he says that anyone who abandons the “doctrine of Christ” that is the consistent understanding of Who Jesus really is preserved in the Church, actually becomes an “antichrist.” And just what identity of Jesus is John referring to? Simply this: Jesus Christ has come in the Flesh. In other words, the theology, the belief in the Incarnation.

It is precisely the consistent teaching of the Church regarding the Incarnation; that teaching that says that Jesus Christ is God in the Flesh, born of a Virgin, lived a sinless life, died a real death on the Cross, buried in a real tomb, and physically resurrected, seen by His disciples and others alive after His crucifixion, taught the disciples after His resurrection, ascended in His flesh, His resurrected physical body to the right hand of the Father, and Who will come again in that same physical body a second time to gather His Body, the Church to Himself and cause the general resurrection of the dead of all of humanity. Yes, THAT Jesus. Holding this consistent faith protects us from  falling into the destructive errors of beliefs that aren’t nearly big enough to make us like Christ!

Today, what do you believe about Jesus Christ? Truth be told, anyone can see what you believe by the way you live. So, I guess the better question is what does your way of life say about Who you believe Jesus Christ is? The answer determines whether you are Orthodox on Purpose or not!

P.S. Soon, we will be announcing the writing phase of the “A Journey to Fullness” project. With all the work we are putting into this project, please know you are part of this labor of love and a sure hope that this tool will be useful to you and your community! Keep up with the news at www.JourneytoFullness.com. Have a great weekend.

4 comments:

  1. Father, Bless. Please explain the part of scripture here that says

    “If any one comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into the house or give him any greeting; for he who greets him shares his wicked work.”

    Is he speaking of church members here? I have a family member that is a devout atheist, yet I welcome him in my house and in my life, showing the love of Christ, and accepting him as he is. I do not accept what he teaches or believes.

    1. Dear Helen, the Apostle is referring to those who come into the Church. Most church meetings at this time in the history of the Church met in a parishioner home, usually in the courtyard. The Apostle is telling the faithful to not allow false doctrine to shape their lives. This is not a prohibition against hospitality, but a warning to not believe every eloquent speaker. Hope this helps. And God bless you for your kindness to your family member.

  2. Father,
    Thank you. This message touched me so fervently, it is as if it was written to me. I have been a lost soul in the Church since 2011, when I was betrayed by a Priest in the Confessional. I have not been able to receive Communion, or receive Confession. The dome of my Sanctuary has been shattered and I have lost trust in the Clergy of the Greek Orthodox Church.
    Perhaps you can help me find my way home.

    1. Dear Andrea, thank you for your kind words and thank God that the Spirit uses we humans to remind others of His enduring love and care for us. May God use many “builders” to repair your “dome.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: