“Jesus is different also from John the Baptist”
A) The text of the speech by J.M.Bergoglio:
“Jesus is different from the teachers of his time. For example, he didn’t open a law school but rather goes around preaching and teaching everywhere: in the synagogues, on the streets, in houses, always moving around! Jesus is different also from John the Baptist, who proclaims God’s imminent judgment. Instead Jesus announces his fatherly forgiveness” (Angelus – Saint Peter’s Square – Sunday, 24 January 2016)
B) References to Scriptures:
“In due course John the Baptist appeared; he proclaimed this message in the desert of Judaea, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.’ This was the man spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said: A voice of one that cries in the desert, ‘Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight” (Mat 3:1-3)
“From then onwards Jesus began his proclamation with the message, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is close at hand” (Mat 4:17)
“After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the gospel from God saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the gospel’” (Mar 1:14-15)
“In truth I tell you, of all the children born to women, there has never been anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of Heaven is greater than he” (Mat 11:11)
The spirit that is in Bergoglio just cannot appreciate John the Baptist.
Already, in a previous comment, Bergoglio tries to instil a doubt (but that finds no basis in the Gospels) about the life of John the Baptist. Bergoglio, then, said that along the way of John appeared “the darkness of the error, the darkness of a life burned in error“.
Now Bergoglio tries to counterpose the teaching of Jesus to that of John. Bergoglio says that Jesus is different ALSO from John. And it is precisely this word “also” that makes understand the attempt to put Jesus and John one against the other. In fact, shortly before, Bergoglio highlights the difference between Jesus and “the masters of His time” (namely the Scribes and Pharisees). Jesus is the Good, the masters of his time are the bad. (Parentheses: what would have happened if this sentence had been pronounced during the visit to the Jewish synagogue in Rome a few days ago? Would Bergoglio have received the same praise from the Jewish world?).
Immediately after having highlighted the difference between Jesus (the Good) and the scribes (the bad), Bergoglio says that Jesus is ALSO unlike John, one that preached (namely a master) and invited to observe the divine LAW, because the judgment was imminent.
Therefore, Bergoglio presents a different image of Jesus, that here is represented as the “good” (previously he called Him “ugly to make you sick“) because he speaks of the “forgiveness of the Father“; while John here is in fact equalized to the “bigots” and “moralists” masters that recall to the law, to conversion, in view of “the impending judgment of God“.
Truly, Jesus and John the Baptist were never counterposed with each other. Of John, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist” (Mt 11,11). The teaching of Jesus and John the Baptist coincide, because animated by the same Holy Spirit that has moved Their steps.
Who wants to counterpose Jesus and John, albeit unclearly, suggesting, using no direct sentences but always subtle and ambiguous, is animated by a spirit that is not the same Holy Spirit that is in John and in Jesus. This is the true diversity: not between Jesus and John, but between the Spirit that is in Jesus and in John, and the spirit that is in Bergoglio.