February 17, 2005

Disciple's Response (David's Comments)

Here we find some disciple's having the same sort of difficulties with Jesus' teaching that the Pharisees are depicted as having in the last two sections. They turn away but Peter and the Twelve remain -- though Jesus predicts betrayal and the gospel interprets that as foreknowing of Judas Iscariot's selling him to the Sanhedrin.

Coincidentally I checked out another Quaker scripture blog just before posting and a comment there resonated. Our Friend mentions another's comment that his experience wrestling with the “hard sayings” of scripture can often bring unexpected wisdom. But only if we do not turn away.

That can be one of scripture's most telling powers -- it is an ANET -- an Ancient Near Eastern Text from another world yet witnessing a to God we seek to follow. That very challenge to our assumptions may be a part of the whole point.

Our gospel writer meanwhile is trying to smooth out the rough bits. He wants to reconcile his faith that Christ is the Light made flesh with his betrayal by Judas and so places a confident foreknowledge on Jesus' lips. I wrestle with this -- my view of incarnation is that in Christ Jesus God truly became truly human and that meant becoming subject to uncontrollable events. I don't buy the prescience.

I also note Jesus' faith that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father -- we claim to have chosen this life of faith -- we say we made a decision for Christ -- or we became convinced Friends -- or converted to Catholicism -- yet before we chose God God chose us. For us to have responded to the Spirit working in our lives the Spirit was already there working in our lives.

5 Comments:

At 10:46 AM, Blogger Larry said...

"before we chose God God chose us. For us to have responded to the Spirit working in our lives the Spirit was already there working in our lives."

Absolutely, David. Looking back I can see the spirit working in my life for the last 79 years, every minute of it in fact. All of it preparing me for this moment right now.

Well, heck, man. Our breath comes from the Spirit.

 
At 2:39 PM, Blogger crystal said...

David said - Our gospel writer meanwhile is trying to smooth out the rough bits. He wants to reconcile his faith that Christ is the Light made flesh with his betrayal by Judas and so places a confident foreknowledge on Jesus' lips. I wrestle with this -- my view of incarnation is that in Christ Jesus God truly became truly human and that meant becoming subject to uncontrollable events. I don't buy the prescience.... Interesting point. I see Jesus as being fully human and fully divine at the same time - vulnerable, capable of having a change of heart, capble of being hurt emotionally and physically, yet also able to raise people from the dead and foresee a possible future - though how such a paradox is possible, I don't know. As for having pre-cognitive abilities, there are some fully human people who supposedly have that capability and they aren't less human.

 
At 6:57 PM, Blogger Marjorie said...

I totally buy the prescience -- otherwise Jesus's sacrifice seems like less of a choice and a bit more like he finally got caught. He choose to follow God's will, knowing how horrible it would be for him physically -- this is important to me because I find strength in it.

Of course, David, I have absolutely no problem with what you believe, I was just trying to explain why its important to me to believe otherwise. Its very important to me that the life and death of Jesus not make complete sense to me, thats where faith comes in. Of course, your view would allow for him to have the strong suspicion that his actions will lead to his death, so maybe its not much of a difference.

Hey, Larry, happy birthday! Last I'd seen, you were saying you are 78.

 
At 12:40 PM, Blogger Kid McClain said...

I'm 78, too, and taking a course called, Disciple I, taught at a Presbyterian church. I'm having a problem with "Before we chose God, God chose us." We would not think much of a parent who chooses one child over another so what kind of God does this special election?

 
At 6:45 PM, Blogger forrest said...

Hey, there's a simple way to resolve that: 'God chooses everybody!'

Of course some of us get a longer, bouncier ride on our way there, but that's what having a world to play in implies, yes? Judas? -- We're supposed to make mistakes & learn from them, & he (if he existed) started with a big one. All fixable; at least that's what the Resurrection implies...

 

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