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Gospel of John
Jesus' View of God and Himself, Us and the Kingdom

Although we seem to live in a world of separations, competitions, and comparisons, always aware of "them and us," it is difficult to think that Jesus did. He seemed to have a more expansive point of view, an inclusive, eternal perspective. The soul of the writer of John appeared to be immersed in awareness of "oneness" as he wrote that all might be "one." (Chp17). When we read his words, we are reminded of Paul's inspired insight, that "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto God's self." (2 Cor. 5:19) This God whom Jesus defined as "Spirit" (4:24) was "in Christ." Who Jesus was was completely dependent upon who God was in him. And who we are is completely dependent upon how we accept and understand the life of the Spirit in us. Who we are depends upon where we came from and why we think we are here.

In its own unique way, the gospel helps us experience what John was saying. A "call" is deeply embedded in its text. In the very first chapter, John writes: "To those who received him, who believed on his name, he gave the power to (also) become the children of God." (1:12) The call is to wake up, to really receive the Spirit, to offer our love and our will, to want to be God's own expression wherever we may be. We too have been entrusted with the message of reconciliation.

Jesus' God was "the Spirit who gives life," (6:63) personal, present, and pervasive. At least nineteen times in the Gospel he insists upon this theme: "The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority but the Father who dwells in me does his work." (14:10) It is deeply important to note that he said that the same was true for us! "Apart from me you can do nothing." (15:5) Jesus' being and earthly life were to put into human experience and understanding the qualities of God as Spirit in their midst and in themselves.

Jesus did not want to be our "master," although we want to say those words in love. He wanted to be our friend, not our superior. He deeply wanted us to understand, to experience, to be open to and receptive of the Spirit of God so that we could do his works and more. He was a beginning. We were to carry on. He said that he would send the Spirit with which he had been anointed at the beginning of his own ministry. Our ministry would be inspired by his. When one with him, all that we could do would be recognized as what God would do in and through us.

God's power is the only power in the world. If we think we live and move without that power, we are blind. It may be unrecognized, as God's presence often is, but it is not absent. Even the power of evil is God's power, blind to its own identity, warped and misused against its own source. Spirit, God, pervades existence, and there is, as the saying goes, "no space where God is not." That means that God is the very life within us. And God is the Spirit within our physical energy too. We do not have to "call on God" to "come" to us because God is already here and has been forever. We do not have to find God, because God has found us in God's own heart, created us, and never let us go. Our task is to let go of anything that distracts from the deepest Reality so that we can awaken and be aware of what is always present. Then we, too, can become, its instruments of love, "ordained ... to bring forth fruit ... that will remain." (15:16).

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"I will pray the Father and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth...: you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you."
John 14:17

 
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