Third Sunday of Advent – December 17, 2017

Texts for the Day

The Son of God

This week, we turn to the second of the titles of Jesus given in Mark 1:1, the Son of God. What exactly is meant by this? This is not a simple question, as the conversation over Jesus’s identity has gone on for the entire history of Christianity. Compare the following two characterizations of Jesus. First, we read from the prologue to John’s Gospel, verses that immediately precede the selection for this week.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

This proclaims the divine identity of Jesus, but does not spell out the dual human and divine nature of Jesus that is professed by nearly all Christians today. Compare this to the words of the Nicene Creed, which are more explicit.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made.

Questions for reflection:

  • Who do you think Jesus is? How do these Scriptural and credal statements inform your views?
  • How are God’s promises reflected in Jesus’s identity? You may want to reread the Isaiah 61 reading for clues?
  • So what? What is the connection between the identity of Jesus and how we conduct our lives?

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