Sunday, October 27, 2013

Met Georges Khodr on God's Weakness

Arabic original here.

God's Weakness

Today's Gospel reading talks to us about a miracle of the Lord that once more shows us that the chief reason that Jesus worked miracles is that he loves people: He took pity on the chief priest and brought his daughter back to life. The miracles in God's Book are not in order to prove something. The Lord did not work them in order to give evidence for His divinity, since He is the one who says, "Believe in Me because of the words I speak to you."

It is the weakest sort of faith for us to follow Him because of miracles, but it is the strongest sort of faith for us to follow Him because of words, because of His divinely giving words that no human had spoken, because of the life that He spent among us, loving even to death. Thus in the Gospel of John miracles are called "signs" because the Evangelist is using them to point to a teaching, to indicate the meanings of the Gospel, and not to indicate power.

Christ did not reveal God's power as the Jews did. He showed God's power in His own way, and God's power was the cross. That is, He revealed weakness so that after the resurrection it could be understood that it was really power. God comes down to humankind and lives with them. This is His power. He can abandon His glory in order to be hidden among people.

Christ came down from His glory and power and abstained from all of this in order to die. Death is something weak. Then His power shines out from this weak thing so that He triumphs in glory.

In this context, He brought the girl back from the dead and handed her to her father. Behind this event, each one of us can look to his own weakness and spiritual death, to his stumbling and weariness and at the very same time look to Christ's splendor because each one of us is dead and Christ says to each of us by name, "Arise."

What each one of us must believe is that Christ, though He is the Savior of the World and thus the Savior of all people, is the Savior of each one of us. Christ is my Savior in the sense that He sends out His life in my death and His power in my weakness. If I realize this, then I have realized the meaning of my faith.

This is Christianity: That I realize my weakness and my sin, and for me to approach the Lord and reveal my weakness before Him. At that point I hear Him say to me, "My child, arise. My grace is sufficient because My power is perfected in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Then I arise in Christ, from death to life and from weakness to strength.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great translation of Met George's teachings. Even though I'm a native Arabic reader, Met George's writings are a little complicated, so your translation helps convey the meaning in the English language that is inherently more straightforward than Arabic.

I think you might have misinterpreted who he's referring to in the fifth paragraph. Given the Arabic original, it should probably be "his weakness" and "his stumbling" (i.e. our weakness and stumbling) as opposed to "His weakness" and "His stumbling"

Thanks again and God bless you!

Samn! said...

Looking back over it and at its context, you're right. Thanks!