High Christology in the Gospel of John. What evidence exists in the Gospel of John to support Ernst Käsemann’s insight that the Johannine Jesus is like a “god striding over the earth”?
John presents a very different Jesus compared to the synoptic gospels. It is clear that for John Jesus has many complex elements to his personality and without all of these the picture is not complete. The above quote by Käsemann suggests that in the gospel of John Jesus’ divinity is definite and his presence is felt on the entire world through his words and actions. This allows for the human Jesus but implies the divine Jesus is imperative.
The divinity of Jesus Christ is something that is very ...view middle of the document...
This aspect of the identity of Jesus Christ is one that all gospels and historians agree on. ‘Word was made flesh.’ In the gospel of John this notion of ‘flesh’ is important. It signifies limitations and mortality, implying that death would always be the end result. Jesus’ humanity is also necessary in the gospel of John. Although the divine Jesus is absolute in the fourth gospel, in order for God to truly relate to human kind then it would take a human being, someone who could feel pain, hunger and thirst and most importantly love. The death of Jesus is the most profound revelation of God, one that displays the most substantial human act of love, to give one’s life. John indicates that Jesus always knew that he was going to die and that it was foreseen in scripture.
In order for Kaesmann’s quote to be an accurate description of who Jesus was in the gospel of John then the presence of Jesus on the world must be identified. This was achieved through the human Jesus Christ. However without the divine Jesus miracles and healings could not have taken place. Therefore without every aspect of the identity of Jesus Christ, the picture would not be complete. ‘Striding over the earth’ suggests that Jesus glided over the entire world leaving his powerful imprint behind him. The gospel of John therefore is ‘The story of how he (Jesus) leads us all from behind the barriers of fear and indifference into a new unity, a new peace through a relationship with him which flows from God and brings us into the heart of God.’
In John’s gospel he records the seven great “I AM” statements of Jesus, each one used to give insight into His person, His deity, and how He relates to God in the OT. “Seven times John records Jesus saying, ‘I am…,’ attaching it to a metaphor. These seven statements give special insight into who Christ claimed to be…He was identifying Himself with Jehovah of the Old Testament”.
The “I AM” statement that I will be focusing on is “I AM the true vine”. Jesus says this in John 15:1 “I AM the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser” (NASB). It is interesting to see the context and time when Jesus says this, and to see the relationship between him and his Father. I have always had a found liking to this particular passage as I grew up on an apple orchard, and was very acutely aware of the process of pruning branches at a young age. The concept of pruning away or cleaning the branches in order to bear much fruit is something that I related to very easily throughout my life.
Reading the surrounding verses, Jesus is talking and walking with his disciples when he spoke this statement. Many theologians agree that this discourse took place right after the Passover meal: “The fruit of which he had been just speaking of at supper with his disciples; and then informs them, that he himself is the vine from whence that fruit must be expected, which should be partook of by them in his Father's kingdom…” There are many different...