Epistles of Thomas

October 13, 2008

John 16-18

Filed under: New Testament — Thomas @ 17:34
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In chapter 17:22f we have John stating the purpose of Jesus’ providing God’s glory to his followers: “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” This is a troubling verse because Christians do not have unity and as a result the “world” has not accepted that God sent Jesus. We have some work to do. How much does a lack of having Jesus in them (v26) prevent Christian unity? How many say “Lord, Lord” but Jesus does not know them?

It is curious that John provides us with the names of the disciple (Simon Peter) and the servant whose ear was cut off (18:10) but does not give us the detail that Jesus immediately healed him (Lk 22:51). More detail and yet less detail. I wonder what became of Malchus and why the synoptics do not tell us that it was Peter who cut the man’s ear off.

Pilate was a very postmodern gentleman, asking “what is truth” (18:38) but he couldn’t bring himself to unjustly execute Jesus so he wasn’t much of a pragmatist. Although from what we know about Pilate’s time in office it seems unusual for him to be concerned about whether or not Jesus was truly guilty of a crime deserving death. Perhaps he was more concerned with thwarting the wishes of the Jewish leadership.

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