Now is the time: a reflection

Giotto_Lower_Church_Assisi_Crucifixion_01Again, I find O’Day’s insights thoughtful and to the point, so again, I offer her words as a …. A Final Reflection  (Gail O’Day, 713-15)

John 12:20–36 is the most concentrated collection of sayings on the death of Jesus in the Gospel of John and, therefore, provides the interpreter with an appropriate place to reflect on the meaning of the death of Jesus in this Gospel. Theological inquiry about Jesus’ death and its soteriological [things relating to salvation] efficacy is most frequently identified as “atonement theology.” Before looking at the Johannine understanding of the death of Jesus, it will be helpful to review the theologies of atonement that have shaped and continue to shape the life of the church. Continue reading

Now is the time: misunderstood

Giotto_Lower_Church_Assisi_Crucifixion_0129 The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder; but others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come for my sake but for yours.

The Gospel according to John is replete with revelation being misunderstood. Nicodemus misses the point in his talk with Jesus, as do many others in their encounter with the Messiah. Perhaps the same is true of the crowds present. There opinions of the sound being thunder or the voice of an angel is headed in the right direction. Thunder was a common religious symbol for the voice of God (e.g., Exod 4:23; Ps 29:3–9), and angels were traditionally understood as God’s messengers (e.g., Gen 16:7; 18:2–8; 19:1; Luke 1:11, 26; 2:9). The crowd’s hearing the voice of God as either thunder or an angel’s voice suggests that the crowd recognized that they were witnesses to an epiphany, some revelation of the divine, but that they missed the point: they were witnesses to the unmediated presence of God in God’s relationship to Jesus. His words in v. 30 underscore that this is indeed what the crowd has missed. Continue reading

Now is the time: a grain of wheat

Giotto_Lower_Church_Assisi_Crucifixion_01 24 Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me. Continue reading

Now is the time: arrived

Giotto_Lower_Church_Assisi_Crucifixion_01The introduction of a new group of people (some Greeks) indicates a new narrative and thrust of the gospel message. Anyone could “see” Jesus as he was in the Temple precincts. I think it is a given that the Greeks wanted more. Even if their desire to “see” Jesus doesn’t mean “become a follower,” their presence relates to Jesus’ statement in v. 32, “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself.” It should be notes there is a variant reading of “all things” (panta) in many ancient Greek manuscripts rather than “all people” (pantas).That being said, the coming of the Greeks symbolizes the drawing of all people to Jesus. His hour has come. Continue reading

Now is the time: coming to see

Giotto_Lower_Church_Assisi_Crucifixion_01In John 11:47, as Jesus’ popularity grew, the Pharisee had asked of one another: what are we to do? The Pharisees themselves testify to the fulfillment of their fears in v.19: “So the Pharisees said to one another, “‘You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the whole world has gone after him.’” Their confession of vulnerability (“You see that you are gaining nothing”); their hyperbolic announcement that the “world” (kosmos) has gone after Jesus provides ironic testimony to the truth of Caiaphas’s prophecy: 50 nor do you consider that it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish.” 51 He did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, 52 and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God. (John 11:50-02) Continue reading

Now is the time: context

Giotto_Lower_Church_Assisi_Crucifixion_0120 Now there were some Greeks among those who had come up to worship at the feast. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me. 27 “I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it and will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder; but others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come for my sake but for yours. 31 Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32 And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” 33 He said this indicating the kind of death he would die. Continue reading

The hour: a reflection

Giotto_Lower_Church_Assisi_Crucifixion_01Again, I find O’Day’s insights thoughtful and to the point, so again, I offer her words as a …. A Final Reflection  (Gail O’Day, 713-15)

John 12:20–36 is the most concentrated collection of sayings on the death of Jesus in the Gospel of John and, therefore, provides the interpreter with an appropriate place to reflect on the meaning of the death of Jesus in this Gospel. Theological inquiry about Jesus’ death and its soteriological [things relating to salvation] efficacy is most frequently identified as “atonement theology.” Before looking at the Johannine understanding of the death of Jesus, it will be helpful to review the theologies of atonement that have shaped and continue to shape the life of the church. Continue reading

The hour: misunderstood

Giotto_Lower_Church_Assisi_Crucifixion_0129 The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder; but others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come for my sake but for yours.

The Gospel according to John is replete with revelation being misunderstood. Nicodemus misses the point in his talk with Jesus, as do many others in their encounter with the Messiah. Perhaps the same is true of the crowds present. There opinions of the sound being thunder or the voice of an angel is headed in the right direction. Thunder was a common religious symbol for the voice of God (e.g., Exod 4:23; Ps 29:3–9), and angels were traditionally understood as God’s messengers (e.g., Gen 16:7; 18:2–8; 19:1; Luke 1:11, 26; 2:9). The crowd’s hearing the voice of God as either thunder or an angel’s voice suggests that the crowd recognized that they were witnesses to an epiphany, some revelation of the divine, but that they missed the point: they were witnesses to the unmediated presence of God in God’s relationship to Jesus. His words in v. 30 underscore that this is indeed what the crowd has missed. Continue reading

The hour: a grain of wheat

Giotto_Lower_Church_Assisi_Crucifixion_01 24 Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me. Continue reading

The hour: now

Giotto_Lower_Church_Assisi_Crucifixion_01The introduction of a new group of people (some Greeks) indicates a new narrative and thrust of the gospel message. Anyone could “see” Jesus he was in the Temple precincts. I think it is a given that the Greeks wanted more. Even if their desire to “see” Jesus doesn’t mean “become a follower,” their presence relates to Jesus’ statement in v. 32, “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself.” It should be notes there is a variant reading of “all things” (panta) in many ancient Greek manuscripts rather than “all people” (pantas).That being said, the coming of the Greeks symbolizes the drawing of all people to Jesus. His hour has come. Continue reading