Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Then, after speaking in many and varied ways through the prophets, "now at last in these days God has spoken to us in His Son" (Heb. 1:1-2). For He sent His Son, the eternal Word, who enlightens all (people), so that He might dwell among (humankind) and tell them of the innermost being of God (see John 1:1-18). Jesus Christ, therefore, the Word made flesh, was sent as "a man to men(sic)." (Epistle to Diognetus, c. VII, 4: Funk, Apostolic Fathers, I, p. 403.) He "speaks the words of God" (John 3;34), and completes the work of salvation which His Father gave Him to do (see John 5:36; John 17:4). To see Jesus is to see His Father (John 14:9). For this reason Jesus perfected revelation by fulfilling it through his whole work of making Himself present and manifesting Himself: through His words and deeds, His signs and wonders, but especially through His death and glorious resurrection from the dead and final sending of the Spirit of truth. Moreover He confirmed with divine testimony what revelation proclaimed, that God is with us to free us from the darkness of sin and death, and to raise us up to life eternal.
The Christian dispensation, therefore, as the new and definitive covenant, will never pass away and we now await no further new public revelation before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ (see 1 Tim. 6:14 and Tit. 2:13).
The human tendency to toss aside God's offer of grace is glossed over, as yesterday's commentary suggests. Jesus himself provided his own summary in Matthew 21:33-46, the Parable of the Tenants. Jesus, indeed knew and knows the human condition better than we know ourselves, though the testimony of the crowd, "He will put that wretched lot to a wretched death and lease his vineyard to other tenants ..." (Matt 21:41).
The Christian dispensation, as DV terms it, is not within mortal power to break. One might say that it is as much a part of us as our created realities that we experience day to day.