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Jn tells us that Jesus is "the only begotten from the Father" (In 1.14) through whom all things came into being (In 1.3). Jesus came to show us, or reveal to us, the invisible God (In 1.18), and it is through the Word incarnate that we behold the glory of God the Son and God the Father. Although Mt does not take us to as deep and profound an understanding of Jesus' full divinity, he nevertheless tells us that his coming into the world was remarkable. His divine origins and mission was announced to Joseph by an angel in a dream (Mt 1.20-21), and Joseph (according to Mt) received three additional divine revelations in order to protect the Child after his birth! (see: Mt 2.13, 19,22). In addition, men from the east (the magi) came to worship the child Jesus (Mt 2.1-2) and were able to follow a miraculous 'star' to the place of Jesus' birth (Mt 2.9). They too (as Joseph was) were warned by God in a dream when their lives were in danger from Herod (see Mt 2.12-13).

All of this shows us that both Jn and Mt develop early on a very high christological portrait of Jesus of Nazareth. Although Jn's portrait is more sublime, Mt's is no less forceful in giving us Jesus as the divine Christ of God (see also Mt 1.16 where Mt refers to Jesus as "Christ"). However, Mt's very choice of using the birth narrative scheme as a method by which to prove that Jesus had divine origins shows up the fact that Jesus was in fact a man with a physical birth in a physical place to physical parents observed by physical people. Jn, on the other hand, never alludes to that fact in his prologue. It would seem (according to Jn's prologue) that the Word's (or, Logos') incarnation was by more mystical or spiritual means, rather than physical and material ones.

6/1/99

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