Yet Jesus had said, and even cried out, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me, but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me, sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.
If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I am not the one to condemn him; for I have come, not to condemn the world, but to save the world. The one who rejects me, and does not receive my words, already has a judge: the very words I have spoken will condemn him on the last day.
For I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father, who sent me, has instructed me what to say and how to speak. I know that his commandment is eternal life, and that is why the message I give, I give as the Father instructed me.”
In all the gospel readings we have come across in the past couple of weeks, one theme is endlessly recurring, always the same under countless variations. And it is this one: Jesus and his Father act in perfect unison. In fact, we hear Jesus proclaim that they are perfectly one: “The Father and I are one” (Jn 10:30) “Whoever sees me sees the one who sent me” (Jn 12:45) “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:9) “Father, you are in me and I am in you” (Jn 17:21). Now these declarations give us a precious key for understanding the Old Testament correctly. Because there it is said many times that God kills babies (cf. the Great Flood, the Tenth Plague of Egypt, the Holy Wars of extermination) and punishes ruthlessly the sinner. Yet, when Jesus comes he welcomes children, never punishes anybody, meekly lets himself be crucified. This complete dissonance between the angry God of the Old Testament and the gentle Jesus of the New Testament invites us to correct the image of the angry God: this image is pure projection of the Old Testament authors’ personal convictions about God—not a realistic depiction of who God really is.
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