June 27, 2012

Our Two Mistakes Regarding Jesus

The opening chapters of Revelation provide a stunning picture of Jesus. He is described with lofty language that emphasizes his equality with God (1:12-16), yet he is also immediately present among the churches (1:13). Reflecting on this modulation between images of transcendence and immanence, Robert Mulholland says:
"There is no problem, in the modulation of visionary images, with Jesus being the lamp that the lampstands hold and, at the same time, the one in whose presence they exist. We tend to make two mistakes with respect to Jesus. On the one hand, we make Jesus so transcendent that there is no realization of his living presence in the midst of the church. On the other hand, we often reduce Jesus to a 'pal' who accompanies us through life primarily to ensure that things go our way. John saw Jesus as the awesome presence of God in the midst of the churches...this awesome presence did comfort the faithful churches but also confronted those who were falling short of being faithful priests in God's kingdom" (Revelation, 432).
A good reminder emphasizing the importance of holding in proper balance the double truth of the person of Christ.

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