John 19 Notes.docx

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Religious Studies
Stephen Westerholm

John 19 - Ethesist would add another dimension: by the little decisions we make we are shaping our character, our priorities - Religious people: all our lives are lived before God in obedience to or rebellion against God, conscious or unconscious of God, added dimension added whether we know it or not - Another dimension, more than what it appears: - Story of Joseph: he has dreams in which he foresees the day that his brothers will be bowing before him; he tells his brothers of the dream and his brothers dismiss it. o His brothers sell him as a slave to Egypt when they have the opportunity “We’ll do this and see what becomes of his dreams” o Joseph becomes ruler his brothers are subservient like the dream o Seen has the divine plan being fulfilled o After Joseph’s father dies, he thinks he’s been kind to them only because his father was alive, they come and plead to him again to him but he says “You intended it for evil against me, but God intended it for good”  another dimension - Book of Esther: Name of God is never mentioned o Person plotting to have Jews exterminated gets killed by the King o Wonderful string of coincidences unless you see that God is at work protecting his people defending against enemies - John’s gospel: major protagonist comes from the heavenly world into this earth o Added dimension, how are they responding to the word who has become flesh o Especially true of the passion story  could just be seen as people hostile towards a person, trying to get him out of the way, engineer things so he is brought before the roman governor, they have their way and he is executed o John makes a point – not he who is being condemned but the world being condemned as they condemned him o Human level: they are condemning him o Deeper level: they are condemning themselves by condemning him o What they do is the supreme example, the climax of the world’s hostility to God and the son of God; they are not aware of this dimension but it is there o By being hostile to Jesus they are carrying out the divine purpose to bring about redemption o What they think they are doing and what on another dimension is actually happening are two very different things o Soldiers at the cross: taunting Jesus, dividing up the person’s possessions – as they did this they fulfilled prophecy (Psalm 22) o Pilate: one person who without putting his finger on it that there is more going on in the story than meets the eye and yet he is unable to resist the pressure put upon him; he is weak, and acts against his own better judgement in having Jesus crucified  carried out the divine purpose by doing so - Summed up in paradoxical line: they all freely carry out their appointed role in the story o Each of them acts very much in character, they do the sorts of things being the people they are they would naturally do and in that sense they choose freely what they do o At the same time what they do is part of the divine plan and purpose so they are freely carrying out what is in fact their appointed role o Paradox we find throughout the bible; people always try to resolve it by pushing more for one side of the paradox... and yet this story and all other stories have it as both equally  freedom that has place in the divine purpose - Whether any of these characters in the passion story it he story are representative figures rather than simply individuals? o Nicodemus – represents the best of the world, Jewish leaders o Samaritan woman – represents those outside the Jewish people who will come to recognize Jesus as Messiah and Saviour o Blind man – individual, but representative of people who one way or another come to insight about who Jesus is // o Religious leaders – very punctilious of their observance of the Jewish law (God’s law); careful to observe that law down to its tiniest details (at the same time as they are going against the whole Spirit and fundamentals of the law )  similar to Nicodemus, not as the worst of humankind but perhaps the best of humankind; religious leaders of the people who are the divinely chosen people, the one who are experts in the law, and are doing their best to carry out the law.. yet they still oppose Jesus o Pilate – similar to the blind man’s parents  knew well who Jesus was but said to ask Jesus who he was.. they were fearful of being kicked out of the synagogue  Some leaders loved the praise of people more than the praise of God so though they believed they hid it  Has a measure of insight but fails to live up to the measure of insight that they have  Also representative of justice in the world  the world’s justice is very unjust, Roman justice was the best justice that the ancient world knew – fialed because it was run by human beings who have their failings and Pilate illustrates those failings o The trial of Jesus is not representative of the world of humankind, but the best of humankind, who nonetheless are in rebellion against God and see to his crucifixion – this is what happens when the Son of God comes into the world .. Representative dimension End of 18 - Pilate sees Jesus as not having fault and trie
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