July 12, 2005

david-william's comments on v 19-24

main point

The innocence of Jesus and how the opposition are more concerned for respect for authority than with truth.

new light

It's hard finding new light in familiar passages/stories. It seems very clear to me at least that opposition to the truth is coming from maintaining authority and position far more from a difference in opinion on what counts as truth. I guess that is "new" in the sense I had not noticed that emphasis here (but I had elsewhere).


An awful lot of what people in authority do is designed to protect -- not the truth or the general welfare -- but their own authority and position. But then so is an awful lot of what people with minimal authority do.


it changes how we approach differences of opinion doesn't it -- if one's opponent on say -- the peace testimony -- or even we ourselves -- have personal investment in the issue -- what then?


and John the Evangelist is not himself exempt -- he portrays the Jewish authorities as out of the truth and in it for their own mutual self-interest -- but is that ALL that's going on? Is not the gospel writer in a similar position -- defending Christian faith against the big bad Jewish authorities?


At 8:55 p.m., Blogger crystal said...

It is a challenge to find new light in stuff that's so familiar.

You said ...

Is not the gospel writer in a similar position -- defending Christian faith against the big bad Jewish authorities?

But, they were the big bad authorities, weren't they? Guys like Stephen were getting stoned to death, so maybe John had a right to be wary of them.

At 9:19 p.m., Blogger Brandon said...

I notice that Jesus' response can be taken in two different ways, depending on the attitude of the listener.

1. The authorities take Jesus' response as a refusal to answer, a deflection, and, as David notes, a defiance of their authority.

2. But what I see here is Jesus' complete willingness to put His fate in the hands of others. He isn't going to try to explain himself; He is willing to trust that the people who heard him speak in the temples will accurately and truthfully repeat his words.

More broadly, I see this as Jesus telling us that now it is in our hands -- He has said what he had to say, and it is up to us to pass it on to others.

At 12:36 p.m., Blogger Larry said...

"An awful lot of what people in authority do...... etc."

It's this I want to comment on here, David. In fact I mean to blog on a related subject.

Authority is to be questioned! We learned that in the sixties. A great deal of authority is false, phony, and pernicious-- the kind that Jesus confronted in this scene.

We quakers are supposed to speak truth to power.

I certainly believe that's one of the primary lessons that Jesus had for us.


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