02Jan 02 January, 2013. Wednesday before the Epiphany.

1 Jn 2:22ff. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you.

Jn 1:19-28. John the Baptist describes his own role.

1 John 2:22-28

Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; everyone who confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he has promised us, eternal life.

I write these things to you concerning those who would deceive you. As for you, the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and so you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, abide in him.

And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he is revealed we may have confidence and not be put to shame before him at his coming.

Gospel: John 1:19-28

This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,'” as the prophet Isaiah said.

Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.

Recognising Jesus

This section is the first of a pattern of several sequential days where the Gospel shows a gradual recognition of who Jesus is. First, the Baptist explains his own role and predicting the coming of One of whom he is unworthy. On the next day (Jn 1:29-34) he explains Jesus’ role, as the Lamb of God, as one who existed beforehand, and as God’s chosen one. On the next day (Jn 1:35-42) Jesus is followed by Andrew and another of the Baptist’s disciples (perhaps the one who is later to be the disciple whom Jesus loved). Andrew recognises Jesus as teacher and Messiah, and brings his brother Simon to Jesus, who names him “Cephas” (i.e., rock). And to complete the sequence, on the next day (Jn 1:43-51) onoe of them finds Philip, who in turn finds Nathanael, and Jesus is identified successively as the Son of God, and the King of Israel. Yet Jesus promises that they will see far greater things and speaks of himself as the Son of Man upon whom the angels ascend and descend.

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