is that Jesus Christ is the unique, divine Son of God. . . . then it makes sense to think of Christian revelation as some sort of 'special' or 'unique' revelation, some 'final' or 'ultimate' revelation of God to humanity.Here we have it—the belief I take issue with. The evidence in my book comes from researchers within our own tradition, and I urge readers to use my bibliography for extended research of their own.
Hearing “Son of God” applied to Jesus only, the idea attained an absolute meaning for later generations that was never intended by the first Jesus followers who used it (Jesus himself never did). My direct statement that Jesus is not God seems blasphemous to literal believers, but I notice Catholic theologians carefully avoid saying Jesus is God.
The gospel reading yesterday morning was John 4:4-42, the story in which Jesus asks for a drink from a Samaritan woman. Astonished, she exclaims,
You are a Jew. How can you ask me, a Samaritan and a woman, for a drink?This story beautifully illustrates the Nazarene’s revolutionary acceptance of women. In his homily, Fr. William Skudlarek said no other individual in the gospels has a conversation with Jesus as long as this woman.
After centuries of exclusively male leadership, the Holy Spirit may be at work to shift the Church into a new gear.But I’ve digressed—back to belief in Jesus’ unique divinity. To the woman’s mention of The Messiah, Jesus declares,
I am he, the one who is speaking to you.According to Skudlarek,
“In unambiguous terms Jesus reveals himself to this woman as the one who makes known the living God.”
Jesus “makes known” or "reveals" God. Note the difference from Florian’s statement.
The Gospel of John is replete with “I AM” sayings, using the same words the Greek translators use in Exodus 3:14. For two thousand years, Christians have been marinating in language assigning privileged status to our tradition.
Thoughtful Christian educators no longer repeat the exclusive claims, but few dare to challenge them directly because they fear censure. I can do it because I have no status in the Church.
The Christian mystic Meister Eckhart was censured in 1329 for inclusive statements like these:
When the Father begets his Son in me, I am that Son and no other.... Thus, we are all in the Son and are the Son.Here is rich spiritual food, best understood when we feel free to substitute this:
The Father gives birth to his Son without cease, and I say more: he gives birth to me his Son and the same Son.
She gives birth to me, her Daughter.