Thursday, October 26, 2006

Wrappin' Up John

The last three chapters of John's Gospel wrap up pretty quick. Jesus gets interrogated, killed, mourned, resurrected, misunderstood, celebrated, and minimized.

There is plenty of irony in these last chapters as well. For example...

Jesus is crucified (a gory, gruesome, ghastly form of torture and murder) in a garden. I've been to that garden, it's a nice little garden - quiet, meditative, well-tended.

Pilate declares to the religious leaders and crowd, "Behold your king." (A politically dangerous comment - King Herod might object to Casear...not a good situation for Pilate).
They reply, "We have not king but Ceasar". (A religiously blasphemous statement - God might object to their allegiance...wait a minute...aren't they accusing Jesus as guilty of blasphemy?).

Jesus the innocent man who is murdered must be taken down prior to the Sabbath so it is not desecrated...wouldn't want to violate THAT particular law now, would we?

Jesus appointed twelve men to be apprenticed to him, but following his resurrection he appears first to a woman. And they won't believe her good news. Funny how things don't change.

Jesus reinstates Peter (following the three denials...a cowardly, awful thing to do...), calls Peter to call him again, and describes his future death. And Peter asks about John, "What about him?" He just doesn't get it, does he.

Fortunately Christianity today is devoid of irony.

P.S. Did you know that in the NT, whenver a gospel writer (oh, say someone like...ummm...John!) says "that the Scripture might be fulfilled" and then gives a small quote; the point is not that Jesus fulfilled that "out of context" verse, but rather John is pointing to a whole section of OT scripture. In chapter 19 John refers to a verse in Exodus and in Zechariah. Go to those books and read the whole chapter that the quoted verse comes from. The whole chapter/context is what John is referring to, not the partial verse written in the NT.

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