Anyhow, our topic was the ethics of the Old Testament. What matters, who to be and how to live comes in three ‘streams’ there: ‘the Law, the Prophets and the Writings’ (the old Jewish name for our Old Testament).
As I was chatting about this with the class, I had an Epiphany: one of those Big Visions of God. Except this epiphany was about Jesus, the Christ.
In other words, Jesus integrates, embodies, weaves together, lives the Law, the Prophets and the Writings in one unified life. I sure can’t do that (and I even wrote Joined-up Life in an attempt to try).
Not so Jesus. He just lives it all, and well. In Christian tradition, Jesus is the Christ because he is ‘Prophet, Priest and King’. (In Israel, priests taught law and wisdom made true kings.) He can do Prophecy, Law and Wisdom like no one else.
When John endlessly calls Jesus ‘the truth’, I wonder if he meant it like that. Not some vague abstract notion of truth, but the one who could so inhabit the Law, the Prophets and the Writings as just to be, well, True.
Somedays I get pretty dejected about church, people’s failures, my failures, the suspicions of Australians towards Christianity, the messiness of it all. But in class the other day, this Ephiphany, and then a surging conviction on top of it: someone who can do all that is worth following. And I really want to.