onsdag 15. mars 2017

Returning to the place of birth

No, this is not about returning to beautiful Stavanger although that is the city in which my birth certificate was issued. Some of you who have read this blog regularly for some time may have been involved in the 30-months long immersion in the Gospel of John. There are many themes that John presented as important, yet if I have to choose what I think was important for him to communicate, I am likely to end up with his teaching about the new birth.

Blood and water are regarded as the birth fluids, and there is a lot about these fluids both directly and indirectly in the ‘Jesus story’ according to John. Already in the prologue he writes about the new birth, and it runs like a stream through the whole Gospel, until the birth fluids flow from Jesus' side after his death on the cross:

The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.
John 19:32-34
John is so close to this event that he can observe it with their own eyes. For three years he has been with Jesus and heard his teaching about a new birth and new life that comes when we are willing to loose ourselves, to be able to find a life that cannot die. And, for John to watch the ‘birth fluids’ flow from the wound in Jesus' side must have been yet another confirmation of the new birth.

Maybe that is why John three days later, now identified as ‘the other disciple’, understood that there had been a resurrection before anybody else had realized it: “the other disciple ... saw and believed” (1).

Once a believer has grasped the mystery of the gospel about the new birth, many aspects of the faith fall into place. In fact, to believe is not any longer a battle with doubt, but a rest in the divine mystery.

‘Manna’ for today:

I am born again, and returning to my place of birth!
(1) John 20:8a

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