Sunday, July 03, 2005

A Touch of the Johannine in the Synoptic

Scripture scholars, for all their learning, fail to find what's there on the page. They talk of Q and the Q Community. They talk of redaction and reduction. They talk of the Synoptic Problem and the Johannine Jesus. They talk. And they find only reduction and problem. They fail to read. Read today's Gospel from St Matthew: Jesus says, "I give praise to You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although You have hidden these things from the wise and the learned You have revealed them to little ones. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will." And then, as if just to throw a wrench into the wheels of Q theorists, Synoptic problem-solvers, and Johannine reductionists, Jesus says, "No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal Him." A little touch of the Johannine Jesus in the midst of the Synoptic Problem! Maybe there's no problem to reduce. Probably there was no Q. Certainly there was no Q community. But there's a Gospel According to St Matthew, and there's a Jesus, and He is God-made-Man, and He tells us most assuringly, "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."

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