Being reborn is not easy. It is Lazarus being called to life by a “terrible light.”
Just as baptism leads to identification with Jesus’s divine Sonship, making us by adoption what belongs to Jesus by nature, so too in John this baptism-like scene provokes an understanding of our ongoing identification with and consideration of our life in Christ.
This week’s readings in our journey through the Gospel of John for the Good Book Club present several episodes where Jesus interacts with strangers, and doing so, gives insight into his person and mission.
Even Jesus had a mission statement to keep him on track with his identity as the Christ.
Christians have long struggled with seeing Jesus as Jewish. Yes, Christ becomes more relatable once “incarnated” in a specific cultural context.
The only access we have to Jesus is through the Christ who is the object of our faith — the Christ who lived and died and rose for us, who intercedes for us as our Great High Priest, and who will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. It is alone through Jesus Christ that we have any knowledge of Jesus of Nazareth.
The Church is a single people — Jew and Gentile — who were barren but are now fertile.