Wielder of Life
Who is Jesus? Throughout John’s gospel, Jesus makes a series of key “I AM…” claims to various groups of people. I AM… the good shepherd, true vine, gate, living water, light of the world, way-truth-life, bread of life, the resurrection and the life. Additionally, John’s gospel begins – in gorgeous poetry – by naming Jesus as Word. Incarnate and embodied Word. Word made flesh, who tented among us. True and living Word. The Empire’s ultimate power over the people is death, and Jesus threatens that tenuous power-over by wielding life. As a result, Jesus is subject to an excruciating trial and torture, which at last gives way to his brutal execution. Pilate tacks a sign on the cross naming Jesus “King of the Jews”. But Pilate doesn’t get the final word on who Jesus is. Jesus-followers for centuries have named and claimed him as: teacher, friend, savior, brother, prince of peace, mother hen, way, and so very much more. Who is Jesus to you?
Megan M Ramer
Narrative Lectionary, Year 4
- Bibleworm podcast: Episode 336 – The Executed King, Amy Robertson and Robert Williamson, Jr.
- The Bibleworm Collaborative, Discord channel, April 2022.
- Glenn Boyd, executed by the State of Alabama, March 31, 2011, for the murder of Evelyn & Fred Blackmon.
- Image: word cloud generated by Seattle Mennonite Church worshippers, using Poll Everywhere April 10, 2022.
Hymn: VT 329 Were You There Text: African American spiritual, Journal of American Folklore, 1897. Music: African American spiritual, Old Plantation Hymns, 1899