If you have ever had a discussion about religion with your friends, you know it can be very complicated to explain the difference between the human and divine nature of Jesus Christ. It is such a difficult topic, we have been arguing with the Oriental Orthodox for more than 1500 years. You may be tempted to say, “What does it matter if I believe in Jesus Christ?” It does matter, because the answer affects who God is.
As of 2015 there were more than 45,000 denominations of Christianity. In practical terms that means the question of who is God has been answered 45,000 different ways. You may still be tempted to ask, “What does it matter if I believe in Jesus Christ?” It does matter, because Jesus Christ is our savior.
During each Divine Liturgy, we recite the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, which was written 1700 years ago to explain exactly Who we believe Jesus Christ to be, and what we believe about His incarnation. You may not think it matters, but it does. Theology is what we call this discussion about Who we believe God to be and what we believe about Him. Theology matters because, since Jesus is our Savior, Who He is matters.
Today is the Feast of Saint John the Theologian and Evangelist. He wrote a Gospel and three Epistles to the Church. The icon of him in our Cathedral dome includes the majestic eagle which reminds us of soaring truth. He is known as the Apostle of Love, referred to as the ‘one whom Jesus loved’ in the Holy Scriptures, and is the only one of the Apostles who didn’t die a violent death. He was also blessed to care for the Theotokos after the death of Christ on the Cross.
In today’s Gospel we hear, “This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.” (John 21.24) Theology matters, not because we can defend it, but because it is the truth. You may not think all this matters, but truth matters. It matters because Jesus is truth and Jesus matters.