Gospel Reflection for January 19, 2020, 2nd Sunday Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings: Isaiah 49.3, 5-6; 1 Corinthians 1.1-3; John 1.29-34

“Now I have seen for myself and have testified, ‘This is God’s chosen one.'” – John 1.34

Theology is faith seeking understanding. Christology is faith in Jesus seeking to understand who he is and his purposes for us. Christologies grow out of images and insights we draw from the Hebrew Testament, the gospels, and our experience.

In Sunday’s gospel John the Baptist identifies Jesus as God’s chosen one. This title originates in the prophetic writing of Second Isaiah, who writes four songs describing the exiled people of Israel as God’s suffering servant. Isaiah gives the exiled people heart, insisting their suffering will heal others (Isaiah 53). He comforts the people and preaches that God forgives their faithlessness and disregard for people in poverty. He announces God will lead them home.

Isaiah sees the exiles as servants of God, specially chosen for making God known among their captors. The captives’ return from exile leaves a permanent mark in Israel’s history and becomes a frequent reason for praise in the psalms.

How does identifying Jesus with God’s servant people help you understand who he is?