Gospel Meditations on the Cross: John

Authority Each of the Gospel accounts, in one way or another uses the Crucifixion scene to communicate that Jesus is the true King of all. Yet, John takes a particular interest in the authority of Jesus during his trial and all the way through his death. This theme at the Cross is not new to John’s Gospel. In fact, he begins his Gospel declaring Jesus’ Godhood. (John 1:1) Still, John the Theologian…

Gospel Meditations on the Cross: Luke

The Righteousness of God Having been a missionary companion (Acts 16:10), and disciple of the Apostle Paul (2 Timothy 4:11), Luke reflects Pauline concerns, themes and emphases in his writing (Luke-Acts). One such theme is an emphasis on the Gospel of the Messiah of Israel reaching the Gentiles (Luke 2:14, 31-32, 4:26-27). The Lordship of Jesus over/for the Gentiles is not merely an addendum to God’s work for Israel. What God did…

Gospel Meditations on the Cross: Mark

Returning the World to God In the Bible, there is a genre called apocalyptic literature. A dominant feature of apocalyptic literature is that it uses vivid imagery to reveal (the word apocalypse means revelation) a greater sense of purpose and reality to an event. Often times these revelations include astronomical phenomena that are meant to point to, not mainly to the event itself, but rather, what is happening on Earth. It is…

Gospel Meditations on the Cross: Matthew

God’s Pleasure in Jesus At the beginning of Jesus’ adult appearance in the Gospel of Matthew, his Father in heaven, the God of Israel, voices his pleasure in Jesus at his baptism saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17b) (A similar Divine witness is borne at our Lord’s Transfiguration. [Matthew 17:5b]) This experience as written serves, for our meditation today, a threefold function for the…

Gospel Meditations on the Cross: An Introduction

An Eye Always Towards the Resurrection There is no other sign or symbol that summarizes the Christian Faith like the Cross. Christians put crosses on our churches, in our homes, around our necks and some of us make the sign of the Cross over our bodies. We find our heart and identity grounded in, and defined by, the Cross of Jesus Christ. As the Apostle Paul said, “But far be it from me to boast except in…

Gospel Meditations on the Incarnation: John

The Word Made Flesh Rightly so, sooner or later, all discussions about Jesus lead to John’s Gospel. One main reason is the identity of Jesus as set forth in John’s prologue. Here we learn that Jesus preexisted as the Word of God and then, at a point in history became flesh so that the love of God, as John 3:16 states, could be displayed for the salvation of the world. We will…

Gospel Meditations on the Incarnation: Luke

The Wisdom and Power of God—Born as David’s Son, Yet David’s Lord Having been a missionary companion (Acts 16:10), and disciple of Paul (2 Timothy 4:11) Luke reflects Pauline concerns and themes in his writing (Luke-Acts). One such theme is that Jesus is the promised Savior of the Davidic covenant (Acts 13:22-38). In particular, Luke has the goal of showing that Jesus is not only of, but also before, David – both…

Gospel Meditations on the Incarnation: Mark

The Son of God, Without Beginning Of all the Gospel accounts, Mark is the one that seemingly would offer us no material upon which meditate concerning the Incarnation of the Son of God. Both Matthew and Luke offer infancy narratives. John gives us explicit pre-incarnate information. Mark however, starts with what seems to be a mere assertion, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” (Mark 1:1) Yet…