March 11th, 1986, Serial No. 00471

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Saint John




So this is class number 14, and let me introduce things a little bit before we get going. What we're trying to do now is go through chapter by chapter without getting stalled, which is difficult because of the richness of John, so we can get bogged down in any one of these chapters. So we have to be deliberately a little bit superficial sometimes. The thing that comes up again and again, and which causes a conflict for people, is that John doesn't seem to tell you how to live, and John doesn't seem to be very concerned with the nitty-gritty of human behavior and ethics and so on. For that, a lot of it, we have to go to the other three Gospels and to St. Paul, and John is building on what they've said, so he's doing something else, and in a sense he's got something of the vice of monasticism, it's a virtue and a vice at the same time. Call it centrism. As John heads for the center, what he does is he focuses on Jesus, and he gives you everything in the core, everything in the heart, in the center, which is Jesus, and you have to draw out the implications yourself. There's plenty of guidance there for doing that, but he doesn't do it, you have to do


it yourself. The other Gospels do it, the Sermon on the Mount does it, Luke does it, Paul does it, but John doesn't do it. Just like monasticism tends to focus on the center and sort of ignore social dimensions and things outside the monastic walls, or outside the individual, so John does the same thing, but what he's giving us is this core, he's giving us the central mystery, and everything is there, and if you follow his guidance, what you get is an initiation into that mystery, and the logic of it being, and the justification that once you penetrate that mystery, somehow you'll be oriented towards all the rest of it, that all the rest of it will flow from the grasp of the center, from being grasped by the center. That's the rationale behind John, and certainly it's worth giving him the time that he asks for, that John asks for, in order to try that side of it, because otherwise we can find ourselves kind of never quite getting to the issue of the mystery, the delightful gift which is given to us in Jesus. Sometimes we don't get enough away from the moralism, we don't get enough away from


the sense of, what have I got to do? And just get into that center where the light is coming through, that's where John takes us. Remember that our journey through the Gospel of John converges with the liturgy at this point. Yesterday we began to have John's Gospel in our weekday readings, now that goes on pretty much up into Holy Week, up into the beginning of Holy Week. Yesterday we started with John 4.43, but on Sunday we had the Series A Gospel of the Samaritan Woman. So the Samaritan Woman is the one who introduces us into the Gospel of John for the rest of Lent. Let me say something about Jesus' journey in John. I'd like to keep kind of going back and summarizing, because each time I get a different light on things, a slightly different light. Jesus' journey in the Gospel of John is a journey of gradually revealing his identity, and maybe, and John is not gradually discovering his identity, as it is for instance in Mark, as it is in the other Gospels.


John puts it in terms of his revealing it, and it's revealed through the series of many titles that are given to Jesus, for instance, by the people that encounter him. But behind them all is sort of one nameless reality, one reality that can't really be reached by words. It's the Son, it's the creative word, the creative act of God, as Fr. Elrod said it well the other day, and it's the I Am of God, which is kind of the baffling mega-word that's not a word. It's just the light hooking at you, as it were, the center. There are several dynamisms operating in John's Gospel as we go through there. One we found is the replacement dynamic, or dialectic, replacement or fulfillment, or absorption or assumption into Jesus, that is, as he goes along, he picks up everything and it moves into himself. In a way he replaces things, like circumcision, like the temple, like this, like that, and in another way he fulfills those things by opening them to that which is in their center, which is destined to be their core, and which is himself.


So he does this with natural things and he does it with religious things. And sometimes these things accept and sometimes these things refuse when they have a will. So we find the religious things, as it were, very often refusing, hardening themselves against this opening up, against this transparency, this penetration, this absorption into Jesus. And the natural things begin to be opened up simply by his words and by what he does with things as he goes through, we'll see. So they're taken into Jesus. Now we have these signs, that's the next point, the signs which are the revelation of Jesus' identity, and especially the revelation of Jesus as the new creator, as the one who comes in and unashamedly puts himself in the place of God, identifying himself as the creator, the creative word, as John puts it, but the one who restores the creation this time. It doesn't just restore it, but brings it beyond its original shape by bringing it into its fullness, and its fullness can only be in him. Its fullness is in being made one with God, and that's why the nuptial theme is so important


in John. And that beautiful notion of Irenaeus, though it comes from Paul, comes just as much from John, of recapitulation, that he comes and he sums up, heads and englobes everything in himself, incarnates all reality in some way. So this has two dimensions, this business that goes on in the signs, which are all kind of operations on creatures. The signs are that Jesus comes in and affects the creation in one way or another, whether it's water that he turns into wine, or whether it's a paralyzed man that he heals. He comes in as the creative word, and he offers it the potentiality of being brought into its fullness. The paralyzed man doesn't seem to quite grab it. It's got two dimensions. The first I call the Christological Epiphanic, which is simply the revelation of who Jesus is through each of these signs. The other side of it is what you call it anthropocentric, or human, or therapeutic, or especially the healing signs. You see what I mean? It's what is done for the person, is what happens for the benefit of humanity.


So you've got those two signs. But John emphasizes the first somewhat at the expense of the second. In other words, you don't get a humanitarian Jesus so much in the Gospel of John. The signs are to reveal who he is, but the fact is that he heals people. And this gradually does reveal the kind of humane dimension of his work. It can't help, because that's where he comes. The third point is the point of conflict, one side of this thing, with the Jewish authorities, and who are called the Jews very often, with a kind of unfortunate resonance in John's Gospel. Now these represent the religious thing that closes itself against this revelation, which is revelation of itself and revelation of God at the same time, in Jesus, the one who comes to as the incarnate Word. And on the other side, you've got reception. Now, I think of the Jewish authorities as being the archetypal figures of refusal of this which Jesus brings. And the women in John's Gospel, on the other hand, are pretty much the archetypal figure,


or nearly one figure, of the acceptance. And if we said that religion is that which tends to trust itself, to close itself, to reject what's coming, then the woman here, who in some way is akin with nature, is akin with the creation, and who represents somehow the fullness, the roundness of the creation, is the symbol for that which accepts, accepts this transformation, and somehow instinctively knows what Jesus is up to, knows what's going on, like the woman who anoints Jesus, or like Mary. Would you say that the woman stands for the Church, as has often been said? Is that pretty clear in John? That's one of the levels, but it's far from being the only level. I'm sure that it does stand for the Church, but it's the Church in a sense in its terminal fullness. So Church as an institution, Church which is Israel, Church which is like the synagogue, like a religious structure, is only on the way, and tends to fall over on the other side. So the Church itself has this ambivalence about it. It can become, in John's words, the Jews, the Jewish authorities, or it can become the


woman who is receptive enough to give birth to the whole thing, the mother of all the living, that kind of thing. Now, because of that, the woman is also a sapiential, a wisdom, a Sophianic figure in John, because of that connection with the creation and with nature and the whole thing. It's hard to get it all into words, but it becomes more and more evident as you go through. So the women have a special symbolic depth, whereas what we get with a lot of the men, especially with the Jewish authorities, is a crust instead of a depth. But it does represent every religious establishment, every religious structure and institution, in its potential to refuse the fulfillment which comes to it in Christ. It seems like the Church in its male aspect is that which would be the Jewish authority. Yeah, yeah. The whole aspect that you were mentioning about them coming out and being married as being exemplar of that. That's right, that's right. But those seem to be opposites. Yeah, they don't need to...


In other words, the male side of this must have a positive aspect, right? It can't be purely negative, just as the Jewish religion wasn't purely negative. But it has this potential for closing and so for hardening. But obviously, look at it in St. Paul, okay? Look at the male aspect in him and you see the positives there are. Or in Jesus himself, okay? So that strength and that kind of fearlessness and brilliance of the truth which you see in Christ and which you see in some of the apostles, that's the male aspect in its positives. There's that kind of draw and acquisition in the apocalyptic aspect of the woman and the bride and the harlot. Yeah, yeah. And that, of course, is very ancient also in the history. But here the harlot stands for the Roman Empire, doesn't it? But then the rodent had to come into the Church and spread it to the Roman Empire. There's more than one level to that one, too. But couldn't, it couldn't, it doesn't have anticipated, or wouldn't it have anticipated? Anticipated, what do you mean?


Oh, the Church, the Indian Church, yes. I think what you find in the Constantinian Church you also found in the synagogue, okay? It was also in the hardened, in the Jewish structure, which was a wedding of, look at the whole thing that goes on in the New Testament, between the Jewish authorities and Herod. And that kind of corrupt political, economic, military thing that's there, the corrupt secular structure and the corrupt religious structure become married, become wedded. Remember how the harlot is the one who fornicates with all the kings of the earth and with the Pope at once and so on? Same thing. It's religion that always, in every age, marries itself with the power structure instead of marrying itself with its God. Well, then that fits very much into this image of John and the woman. Oh, yes, yes. So there you have a negative contra-image to the positive image of woman and John, okay? Just as the negative masculine images that the Herod religious figure combined, that


is, Annas and Caiaphas and that whole deal, together with the power, male power figures of the kings of that time, and Pilate himself even, with all his vacillation. So you've got a positive-negative on each side, and Jesus comes as the true king, you see, and kind of throwing all that into shadow. Okay, but John doesn't bring out the negative feminine image, does he? He doesn't seem to. Well, unless you see the model in front of you. Okay, in Revelation, I mean in the Gospel, yes. Oh, yes, and that's the negative image in the Johannine tradition. In fact, all the negative images seem to come out in Revelation, don't they? With ferocity. They have to come out somewhere. They've got to come out somewhere. That's what they say. I forget what it is. It says, oh, the sweetness that you see in John, you know, the shadow had to come out somewhere. And there it is, you know. The piles of brass and the plagues and the whole thing. Okay, any questions before we go on? Before we take up the Gospel itself.


Okay, now next time, I forgot something. We skipped the cleansing of the Temple. None of you. And we went on to what followed it. So let's go back and pick that up. That's John chapter 2, verses 13 through 25. Jesus cleanses the Temple. Now, this is Passover, huh? There are three Passovers in John, and this is the first of them. The second one is when he multiplies the bread in John 6. The third is the time of his death, roughly. It's the time of the consummation of John's Gospel, the Paschal Mystery. So there's significance in this. Now, the surprising thing about the cleansing of the Temple in John is that it seems to be out of place. See, it comes in the beginning of Jesus' ministry instead of at the end of it. And the Synoptic Gospel says the cleansing of the Temple is one of the chief things that sets off the final conflict by which Jesus is killed, you see, because he does this brazen thing right in the teeth of the scribes and Pharisees, and so they decide this is too much, we're going to finish him. Whereas, it's not so in John. It's the beginning of his challenge, but only a little challenge for the Jews. What's the reason for this?


The best reason I've been able to find is the one that Ellis gives. It's this chiastic parallelism, okay, that John has deliberately put it here in order to create a structure which includes his whole Gospel and in which this scene parallels the death of Jesus. Now, the thing that supports that the most is what Jesus says at the end of this, which is not in the Synoptic Gospels. Remember, they say, well, he says, tear this down and I'll build it up in three days. And they say, well, how is he going to do that? It took 46 years to build this Temple. But he spoke of his body, okay? That is, when he was killed, his body would rise in three days and it would be the new Temple. So, this directly connects it with the passion and death, and so it gives us a reason, a justification for pointing out this symmetry, which, on our diagram... ...goes about like this. It would be this point and this point.


So, this is John 2, the time of the Temple. This is John 19, let us say, the death of Jesus on the cross, okay? So, there are two connections there. One of them is the replacement of the old Temple by the new Temple, that is, the Jewish Temple of Stone by the body of Jesus. And we'll look at that more closely when we get to that end of the Gospel. The other one is the replacement of the animal sacrifices by the one lamb, okay? Now, the reason why I bring that is partly because of our seven days of creation scheme. See, I mean that this all fits into the fifth day of creation. As you move out from the center of the Gospel, the fifth day of the creation, we've said, is the creation of this life, okay? So, the other two sequences that you find that are in symmetry with this are... See? The healing of the royal official's son, who was on his way to die,


and the raising of Lazarus. Now, that fits right into it. You see this question of life, life and death, and the human, that is, animal, in a sense, life, being restored on this fifth day of creation. So, that symmetry is pretty good. Notice the strong centrology here. We've got a Passover, which is the center of the Jewish worship, right? That's the key moment in the Jewish liturgical year. And you've got the Temple, which is the center geographically or physically of the Jewish worship. And then Jesus, somehow, is replacing both of those. Now, he's telling us he's going to replace the Temple. He's also replacing the Passover when he does his Passover, his passing over. Now, according to Ellis, as we've seen, this Passover is at the center, also physically, of the Gospel, because it's in that place where Jesus walks on the water, gets into the boat, brings the disciples to the land immediately in John 6, but we'll save that until we get there. The replacement theme, then, is very strong here. Replacement of the Temple by the body of Jesus. Here, it's explicit.


If you read... This synopsis is really beautiful, this one here, because you've got all four Gospels where there's... Usually, they just give you the three synoptics, as they call them, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, which go along pretty much parallel. Here, they put John in, too. So, you've got the four cleansings of the Temple right alongside one another. And you'll notice that there are some differences in the text. Something in the other three is omitted in John, and this is what it is. He said to them, It is written... This is Mark. John usually... You can depend on him being closer to Mark. And he taught and said to them, Is it not written, My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations? But you have made it a den of robbers. Now, that's not in John. John, you can say, has softened that. He says, Don't make my father's house a house of trade. That sounds much less severe, you see. He still does that kind of violent gesture of driving out the merchants and exchangers. In John, we have this,


You shall not make my father's house a house of trade. And his disciples remembered that it was written, Zeal for thy house will consume me. That den of robbers thing is pretty important. I read a very good commentary on that, I think, in Peake's commentary on the Bible, where they suggested that... See, the real problem there is the money exchanging. And the reason for the exchanging of the money was that the foreigners who came into the Temple, anybody outside of Palestine, had to change their money into shekels, into the Temple money. Now, that was a symbol for this whole business of nationalist religion, where people sort of have to... And a kind of commercialism that grows up there in these proprietors of the Jewish religion. So this goes into something very deep, which is the question of a kind of chosen people and their ability to kind of lord it over others in such a way. By proprietorship of a certain religion, of a certain Temple, a certain sacred area, and the whole thing. But we don't have time to go into that. But something pretty deep turns over at that point. If that also is a point where the Gospel


rejects the smallness, the parochialism of religion in favor of a now universal religion, which is really meant to be open to everybody. Important because of its application to the present day. Because of its application to any kind of Christianity which tries to put a fence around itself. But that's not what John is saying. Now, we have to call this a sign, in a way. It's not one of the seven signs of Jesus. It's not a sign in the sense of a miracle, but it's a prophetic sign. Remember how the prophets in the Old Testament? Jeremiah would be called upon to do some sign. And also Ezekiel. Remember how you had to lie on one side, and so on and so on. And then Hosea, who was to marry a certain woman, and so on. So you have those prophetic signs. Well, that's what this is. This is a sign of a prophet. It's not a miracle sign. But the Jews are not satisfied with this. This is not the kind of sign they want. So they say, what sign have you to show us for doing this? They want a direct sign from heaven, the voice of God or something.


And Jesus says, destroy this temple, and in three days I'll raise it up. So he isn't going to give them a sign now. The sign is going to be his resurrection, his rising up. The sign is going to be the emergence of the new temple, which is Jesus himself. Now, we're not told whether that's the single body that there is in Jesus, or whether that's all of his faithful. We'll have to work that out ourselves as we go through the Gospel. See, for Paul, the temple of God is two things, isn't it? It's the individual body of the believer, and it's all of the believers together, each one being a stone, as it were, in the temple. Remember, it's in Ephesians, and it's also elsewhere in Paul. But John doesn't talk in those terms, so we have to kind of dot the i's ourselves. That's what's for our meditation. This is the first time that Jesus gets challenged by the Jews, where they say, what sign do you have to show us? Remember the continuity with the Nathanael episode, the first couple of chapters of the Gospel. Remember where Nathanael took us back to Jacob's dream, Jacob's vision, and Bethel, this is the house of God, this is the gate of heaven.


Here we are in the temple, and the focus is still beyond the temple, just as it was beyond all of that other, all those other things, to the body of Jesus, which is going to be the real temple. In connection with the other reading today, remember the water that flows out from underneath the temple. Actually, it flows out from within the temple. And remember in John how the blood and the water come from the side of Jesus, the body of Jesus. Okay, that's deliberate. So that's the living water that comes from the new temple, which is Jesus himself. There's more on that in the Johannine tradition, especially in Revelation. If you read the book of Revelation, chapter 22, about the river of living water, which flows down the center of the city, the city of God, gives life to everything. Okay, any questions about this before we go on? I've deliberately kind of skipped through this rapidly because we don't want to give Bob time. Yes? Is this I-N-A-U-N-U-I-N-E? That's in John 14. Yes. Yes, that's right.


He doesn't spell it out by saying, I am in you as God was in the temple, or anything like that, but it's there. In other words, you have to draw it out by meditation. And also in John 15, where he says, I am the vine and you are the branches, it's very similar. But in John 14, it starts out with the image of the house. Remember, he says, there are many rooms in my father's house. Now, I believe that that image of the house dominates the whole chapter, dominates the whole discourse of Jesus after that, so that really you're supposed to have as if the image of the house in your mind when he says that I will be in you and you will be in me, dwelling there. So that... And the house... Yeah, yeah, it's exchangeable with the temple. But because he doesn't use temple language there, we have to leave it a larger, I think, more open, to say that it's just the temple. Okay, let's go on to the next one. The next one, we already did what I call sequence four and five last time.


Remember? That's Nicodemus and then John the Baptist witness to Jesus as the bridegroom. Now, that witness to Jesus as the bridegroom brings us right into the next one, which is the Samaritan Mormon gospel. But remember that was a gospel for the third Sunday of Lent, and we had a Sunday chapter talk and we had a homily and everything that Sunday, so I'm not going to worry you with going through all of that again, just going to touch a few main points, if we can. So this is John chapter four, Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. Now, here you've got to look for the Old Testament background, the Old Testament antecedents. This business of somebody meeting, a man meeting a woman at a well. Now, we can't shy away from the kind of audacious nuptial theme that comes in here, because it's there. I read you something last time from Culpeper, and I'll read it again,


at least briefly. Culpeper has a very nice section on the Samaritan woman here. Sometimes he's able to condense the whole sap of a passage in one paragraph. The encounter of the leading character with his future wife at a well is a conventional biblical type scene. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses, there are four cases in which a man meets a woman at a well, and there's a marriage in the future there. Allusions to the patriarch, Jacob, underline the scene's scriptural associations. The encounter takes place in a foreign land, Samaria here. The protagonist is expected to do or say something characteristic of his role in the story. Well, his role in the story would be to give the living water. One or the other of them will draw water, and the maiden will rush home and prepare for the man's coming to meet her father and eat with him. A wedding will follow. There we have it, the quaint ways of ancient Israel. But in John, conventional elements are treated unconventionally. Jesus asks for water but apparently receives none. Dialogue rather than action


carries the scene. Living water, of which Jesus is the source, rather than well water to which the Samaritan woman has access, becomes a central concern. And the woman is no marriageable maiden. She has had five husbands. In some sense, they must be marriageable. Still, Jesus goes to her village and she receives him as her lord. Let me read something. I found this this morning and it's wonderful. It's in Genesis 29. It's where Jacob meets Rachel at the well. Because this kind of resonates with a lot of other things in John's Gospel. Jacob's on a journey as usual. And he came to the land of the people of the east. And as he looked, this is Genesis 29, he saw a well in the field and lo three flocks of sheep lying beside it. For out of that well the flocks were watered. The stone on the well's mouth was large. And when all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone from the mouth of the well and water the sheep and put the stone back in its place upon the mouth of the well. Jacob said to them,


now he meets these men there first, my brothers, where do you come from? They said, we're from Haran. He said to them, do you know Laban, the son of Nahor? They said, we know him. He said to them, is it well with them? They said, it is well. And see, Rachel, his daughter, is coming with the sheep. He said, behold, it is still high day. It was the sixth hour. Remember? Sixth hour in John 4 with the Samaritan woman. It's still high day. It's not time for the animals to be gathered together. Water the sheep and go past to them. But they said, we cannot until all the flocks are gathered together and the stone is rolled from the mouth of the well. Then we water the sheep. And Oscar did not get time to say about the harlot, you see, he did not get time. That's right. That's right. He did not get time to say about the harlot. Yeah. And then the whole anticipation thing with the Samaritan woman, the fact that Jesus breaks out with his full revelation of himself to this utter stranger. And the fact that this well of living water is something that's only going to take place after his resurrection. But here he is talking about it as if it were right there. The whole thing. While he was still speaking with them,


Rachel came with her father's sheep for she kept them. Now when Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of Laban, his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban, his mother's brother, Jacob went up and rolled the stone from the well's mouth and watered the flock of Laban, his mother's brother, ahead of time. Ahead of time. Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's kinsman and that he was Rebekah's son. And she ran and told her father. Does that remind you of anything else besides the Samaritan woman? In John? Yeah. John 20. John 20. Let me read just a few lines from John 20. This shows you how John chapter 20. Jesus and Mary Magdalene after he's risen from the tomb. Let me read you just a few lines from John 20. And note how this creates this, once again reinforces this ring of the encounter of Jesus with women which surrounds the gospel in John. Now on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early


while it was still dark and saw that the stone had been taken away from the mouth of the tomb. It's a well and it's a tomb. All right? The Samaritan woman, Mary Magdalene, So she ran and went to Simon Peter and so on. Then this whole thing happens, this whole encounter takes place. Jesus comes and talks to Mary and then at the end he says, Do not hold me for I have not yet ascended to the Father but go to my brethren and say to them I am ascending to my Father and your Father to my God and your God. Mary Magdalene went and said to the disciples I have seen the Lord and she told them he'd said those things and so on. Remember Genesis. Jacob went up and rolled the stone from the well's mouth and watered the flock. Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud and Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's kinsman and that he was Rebecca's son and she ran and told her father. See, that kinship that Jesus creates in the resurrection when he says go and tell my brothers that I am ascending to my Father and your Father to my God and your God. See how that clicks together there? That's intentional John, I think. That's not just


a kind of distant memory illusion. But see how one passage kind of immediately awakens another passage in John. And certainly these passages are intrinsically related to woman passages in John especially. And the nuptial theme erupts again and again and again and asks us what does this mean? What does this mean? And how does it affect us? What is it meant to be in our lives? I wonder if you could call it the Gospel of John in the New Testament. Yeah, deliberately because it's the new creation that he's pointing to. You can talk about it as the Song of Songs of the New Testament or you can say that it's the New Genesis. And I believe that what he's doing is moving through Exodus to Genesis actually. In other words, the Exodus, the Passover of Jesus' death is necessary in order for the Genesis, the new creation to take place. Now, Genesis means these stories. It means that kind of beginning of the family of Israel but it goes back beyond that to the creative moment because for John Jesus is the creative word the creative act of God which comes in to restore it all


and to bring it into its fullness. And the first creation, the first Genesis only looks toward the second Genesis. So, Genesis ultimately means creation because it meant creation in the beginning, the beginning of the book of Genesis. And remember, John starts out and the beginning was the word. That is the perspective through which we're to re-discuss. It's beautiful because I read that twice in the name and we're wondering how am I going to move this stone and an angel or a special Jacob came and moved it ahead and, you know, what am I going to do? That somehow the death of Jesus is necessary to move the stone. Okay? I think that's in the background. And that stone, you know, the stone and the cavity and everything means all kinds of things. It means our own heart for one thing. Notice how the tomb is a well and it's also a womb. In other words, there's a maternal aspect to all of this too. Ezekiel, when he says turn your heart to stone it means to us. Okay now,


let's go quickly through the high spot of this Samaritan Woman episode. The first part we can say is the part about the living water in place of the well water. And then the second part is this intensifying, this kind of crescendo in the dialogue between Jesus and the woman and it moves like this. She says, give me this water. Now she shows a real eagerness. Compare her with this paralytic guy who doesn't seem to know what's what. He doesn't show any signs of life but she shows a great alacrity, a great eagerness as soon as Jesus reveals anything to her. Give me this water. Go call your husband and come here. We've already talked about the business of the connection of the living water with the husband with the nuptial, the marriage thing. Just as at Canaan you've got the marriage, the bride, the bridegroom and the wine. Somehow they're all very close together. I have no husband. Then he tells her about her past. Sir, I perceive


that you're a prophet. Our fathers worshipped on this mountain. You say that in Jerusalem is a place where men ought to worship. Okay, we've got two mountains. Gerizim, which is in Samaria, which is this kind of old throwback religion of Israel and Samaria. And you know about the Samaritans anyway. For the Jews they're kind of complete outcasts. I don't want to go into the history of that. I've got a lot of references on it if you want. I've got a whole folder full of stuff. Because some people remember saying that the Gospel of John comes out of Samaria. That it's the Samaritan influence which is decisive in the composition of the Gospel of John. And they use the Samaritan woman episode as the strongest point in an argument. John's sympathy, his preference for the Samaritans in comparison with the Judeans, you see, with the Jews, especially the officials of Jerusalem. Jesus said to her, Woman, believe me, the hour is coming. And yet he anticipates it here. When neither on this mountain, Gerizim, Samaria, nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. No more mountains. In other words, the high spots. The things that


kind of loom up there. The ancient, impressing, overawing symbols and things of religion. Which are things of nature too. You worship what you do not know. We worship what we know. For salvation is from the Jews. And this can all be transposed somehow into the Catholic scene, into contemporary scene. But I'm not going to do it explicitly. But the hour is coming and now is when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. For such the Father seeks to worship him. That's marvelous. Jesus is the truth. He says in another place in John, Jesus is the Word who comes to bring the Spirit. And the Word is the Spirit, really, in some way. Because what the Spirit contains is the presence of the Word, is the presence of Jesus. And the two together somehow are wisdom. Which is what John is interested in communicating. Notice that you've still got this well in the background. The well is always there, with all of its kind of un-crystallizable symbolic power. And here you've got the contrast, implicit contrast, between the two mountains and the well. Between the old worship


in these kind of figures, in these kind of big things. Remember Elijah and his experience with the cave and the thunder and all that stuff. And then the small voice. And the cave, which symbolizes interiority too. And the cave Here the contrast is between the two mountains and the well. The two mountains and the well. And the woman and the well are somehow related deeply. So that the woman signifies interiority, signifies the kind of gift which Jesus is going to give, just as the well of living water does. Now when you get to John 7, Jesus speaks of the living water again, remember. But there it's the opposite. It's not out in Samaria, out in left field. It's in the temple. It's in the middle of the temple. And when he speaks about it then, he says that it's going to flow out from his heart, from his belly. And he says that in the middle of the temple. He's predicting the water which will flow out from the middle of the new temple. But the new temple is not only the body of Jesus, it's also our body. Now here he doesn't get that explicitly.


He just points to it. God is spirit. And those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. Not in crude external images. The woman said to him, I know that Messiah, remember that means the anointed one. And really, in the long run, in the gospel, he's the one who anoints, the one who baptizes with the anointing, which is the Holy Spirit. He was called Christ. When he comes, he will show us all things. Jesus said to her, I who speak to you am he, which in the Greek is ego eimi. I who speak to you am. I am who speaks to you. That's I am who speaks to you. And that's the first time that it happens. First time. Anticipation again. Okay, first time to this Samaritan woman who's a total stranger, who's a kind of outcast, both maritally, that is morally, and also religiously, theologically. And here it is. The next time he says that it will be to the disciples on the lake. So then she runs away and goes into the city and brings back We never know if Jesus gets his drink


of water here. Then later, see the disciples return and the question of food comes up. They say, well you need food. He says, the woman here, the water, and the living water, and he wants a drink from this woman. The disciples come back offering food. He says, nah, I have food that you don't know about. Partly. Well, he's thirsty for her conversion. He's thirsty for souls. He's thirsty for something that only the woman can give to him. You're right. In a sense, he's thirsty for her. Yeah. He's thirsty for us. Okay. I have food to eat of which you do not know. Then his food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. That will come into John 6 again where they ask him, what is this work? And talk about the bread that comes from heaven. So we'll go into that more then. Any questions about this? Yeah,


it just occurred to me that you said that there was something that quickly about the Catholic scene and I was astounded. It struck me that, well, see, I was raised in a Lutheran tradition and you know, we hear so much about the authenticity of the religion to be in a person's heart. Yes. And that's the external structure thing. So, I'm wondering if this passage can be used, you know, to worship, you know, in spirit and truth goes beyond the institutional structure of the Catholic Church. It does, but it's a nuanced thing. In other words, you can't take that kind of radically and one-sidedly by saying that the structures are not necessary. Notice how Jesus says salvation is from the Jews. Okay? So he says, you're wrong. You don't know what you worship. We know what we worship. In other words, somehow structurally also, they've been right. Okay? But nevertheless, they're corrupt. And the new religion is going beyond those structures,


yet it will have its own, you know. John doesn't spell that all out, but one has to be careful not to interpret that too radically in the sense that all external and also therefore all communal and collective religion is done away with. Right. But what he's emphasizing, though, that within that structure, you've got to be authentic by worshipping like in the other scenarios. If it's not in spirit and in truth, then it's worthless. Exactly. That's what he's saying. It's like worshipping the Father in one's own, you know, you close the door. That's right. They say that, but then they give you a whole lot on the other side, like Matthew will give you a whole lot that seems to lay down an ecclesial structure and everything, whereas John's preferences, his meaning is all on this side and you have to fill in the other side yourself. Like when he says to Nicodemus, water and the Holy Spirit, he's pointing to something institutional in their baptism, it would seem. So there's something external already. There's a sacramental thing. Also, I think it results in danger too, especially in something like John, who is obviously a poet, would take a poetic or symbolic


statement and interpret it in more of a direct theological sense. And a lot of times a theological statement and a poetic statement are not going to exactly line up on top of each other. Somehow it would seem that we need a theology that's capable of talking in poetic terms, or capable of interpreting, speaking a language which is poetry. And that's a theology that John is talking It is theology, but it's got poetic resonances that must not be kind of shut down and interpreted, reduced to abstract statements. tends to be more of a scientific approach. It does today. It does today. It does today, right. When John's time was something else. And I guess that's why I think this is really important when one needs John to balance it with Paul. Because in Paul, you know, he talks about the body of Christ and all the other images. Paul is a deliberate, explicit, rational theologian as well as a poet


to himself. But John's a poet. And the theology is all buried in the poetry. Now, if Paul is a theologian and has kept his scholarly and bestiary of signs about the tradition of the Jewish people and has it as a solemn quality, how is it that we can see as a sign that Jesus would spoke to the women about the communion and made himself so clear for the first time and he kept the early communion. Women come to their side and it has been giving the key to the Church to keep doing it. I don't have to defend Paul in this class because this class is not about him. I only have to defend John. In slavery there are several things in Paul. He's magnificent on Greeks and Jews. He's magnificent on opening up to the Gentiles but he seems to miss the boat on the two other ones. The slavery thing is very implicit in Paul but simply you couldn't drive against the structures of society head on at that moment it


seems. But also maybe there was a light that was missing in him. There's a destiny there that the light of the gospel does not blaze out at one moment in the minds of with equal enlightenment and all the apostles so that they can say everything at the first moment as it is maturing simply because those things are not going to move all at once. In other words slavery is not going to vanish in the first century A.D. And somehow the equality of women, this agonized thing that that hasn't developed in Christianity for twenty centuries lies somehow in the whole design too. You can't defend the way it was seen but you just have to say that he had the mind of his time on a lot of those issues. It was not God's enlightenment that was speaking there. It was still the mind of his age. In practice, I don't know, in practice means doing it a lot more, protecting his natural appearance in the environment. You know, the Japanese and the workers and the women who were kind of a circle. There were important women who seemed to really have


They played a role. In the community itself, see, they could play a big role. But when Paul went to set things up again, he would do it just inevitably in masculine terms with the bishops and everything. That is important. Yes. I don't know how much was his. I was just going to mention too what Frantz said that, you know, Neil Flanagan, he taught Paul up there. He emphasized, he mentioned eight or nine women that were mentioned in his lecture. There were leaders in the community that he depended on. So he really respected women in their gift. It was just in terms of the Jewish thinking was still pretty masculine. And then that seems to get questioned soon after, get kind of swallowed up. It doesn't continue. That's right. It certainly


hasn't continued there. And what I wanted to just clarify there, the reason I mentioned about the Lutheran background is that it seems John would emphasize that the relationship with Jesus is foremost and uppermost. It is deepening. And with that, then one can be an authentic worshiper, you know. That's right. No matter what we call it, then it's in truth and spirit. And if one is Catholic, one, you know, I guess we need to live that rather than, you know, it would be a term where we get comfortable and secure in an organization. That's right. My reference to Catholicism meant that we can put ourselves almost exactly in the place of these Jews that Jesus is talking about when he says not on that mountain. In other words, if our religion is a mountain, and it can be. You see, there are a lot of people who look at Catholicism like a mountain. It's a Gibraltar for them, you know. That's right. And it


excludes everybody else. It gives them an identity by having insiders and outsiders. And that's exactly what Jesus is doing away with. I think a lot of us go through that phase, especially conversion experiences have to put us into that kind of Gibraltar conception of Christianity for a while. But we have to get born out of that egg afterwards. That's right. Okay, any more questions about this before we go on? There are a lot of things here we could comment on. The fact of the insider- outsider thing kind of being wiped out here, and also the new interiority that appears to be very important and characteristic of John, as well as the emergence of women once again here in a key position. One thing you were talking about, the women below, that, you know, I like the thing you said about the women, that the women in Egypt are very much


flesh-and-blood women, they are not abstract. Oh, no. I think eventually making a woman a symbol to make her so abstract is not perfect. And I think this is beautifully extremely clear, and the only way that we are thinking in some distance is that we are thinking in a perfect way that the relationship is so secure that it does not have to exist and demonstrate how delicate it is. The other relationship is very delicate. Oh, yes, sure. But notice how John seems to be pointing it beyond the visible level all the time, even though the women are very real, very concrete. This Samaritan Woman is very much a personality, isn't she, if not a character. John is very interested in the symbolic depths of that. So it's not abstraction, it's penetration to the other level. Okay, let's go on with


the next episode, which is The Healing of the Official Sun. It surprises among the signs here because it's so brief, so quick, and doesn't seem to have the importance, doesn't seem to have much character about it, so that we can set it alongside. For instance, you look at the Wedding Feast of Cana, you can meditate on that forever. The episode of the Samaritan Woman that we just talked about, there's no end to the depths and the breadth you can find in that. But the Official Sun, it seems a lot more cramped, it seems a lot less rich and resonant than the other signs in John. Let's look at it and see what we find. Who is this royal official? Well, it's basilikos is the word in Greek, which means one of the king's men, something like that. Barrett says he's probably an army officer, Culpeper says he's probably a Herodian official, so there's a little spectrum among the scholars. Do we find any background for this? Well, the centurion in the Synoptic Gospels, it's


very clear that there's some kind of connection here. Particularly if you read alongside one another, the account of this healing and the account of the centurion becomes most clear. It's the centurion's servant or his son, depending on which gospel you read, and it's once again a question of healing by remote action. He says, go down, or whatever he says. He doesn't have to come. Jesus doesn't have to come to the centurion's home. The healing is done by his word. Same thing that happens here. So we don't know exactly where John hooked into that tradition. It doesn't really matter that much. But one thing is striking, though, between the centurion and this one, in the original, the


official here is not the same example of faith that you find in the centurion. The centurion was marvelous. So he's depersonalized, in a sense, by John, who uses him for another purpose. But that purpose is not too clear to me, to tell you the truth. In other words, I don't see this emerging as a richly, deep and significant happening in John's gospel. Maybe that will happen. Well, there's something symbolic about this going down and coming up. Yeah, yeah, I agree with you. It says, come down, come down, sir. And then when he's going down, they're coming up. And the sun is going down, and going up again. I don't know what it means exactly. Oh, well, the descent and the ascent and death and resurrection. Okay, it can be. You could say that Jesus has to descend as the sun is declining into death. But Jesus has to descend, almost to pick him up and bring him back to life. Come down,


come down, to the place where he is, to the place where this dying child is, in order to bring him back up. Okay, good. That would fit in with John's way of talking. I think it would also be the same thing to the incarnation itself. Yeah, oh yeah, that's part of it, okay. And especially in John that would be part of it. It's one movement from divinity in John. It's almost like there is a genesis, exodus, and back to a genesis again. It's like a circle, well, yeah. Because the beginning of it. Yeah, yeah, that's true. Exodus is in the middle in John, and the middle moves around a little bit, and then you end up in genesis again, and with a new creation. There's something that comes before this, which is important. After the two days he departed to Galilee, now Jesus was in, we were in Samaria, and he goes to Galilee, and there's something disconnected here, so they propose all kinds of reconstructions. For Jesus himself testified


that a prophet has no honor in his own country. Now on the surface of it, on the face of it, that would mean that Jesus' country is not Galilee, but Judea. And that seems to be what John means. In other words, John is pointing to the true country of Jesus on being Judea, that that hard core, that fortress of Judaism really belongs to him. It's like a prophet can't die outside of Jerusalem, that whole thing. We can pick that up maybe. Yes, to all of the synaptics, because for them his fatherland is Galilee, and they take it on kind of a face view, whereas John is using it in a deeper sense, as he very often does. He always changes something in the synaptic tradition in order to say something himself, in order to make his own point, as he does here. Is there something important that has struck me? Is John trying to tell


us the real sign is not that the sun comes back to life, but that the man put his trust in the word Jesus first, and started a new home, because afterwards, he and his whole household became believers. And that's the essential thing for John, is the faith. Basically, it's the faith in Jesus' word, without any sign. That's right. Because he says earlier that you're looking for a sign that you don't believe. That's right. So this is word versus sign. But he does the sign. Frequently, Jesus, before a sign happens, he tells somebody to do something. Remember at Canaan? Fill those vessels up with water. And with a man born blind, he has to go and wash himself. So the word is the essential thing, and the sign is kind of consequent upon it, usually. This is interesting. 444


refers that he himself had declared this, but he had no declarations in the Doctrine according to John. No, not in John. This is an explicit reference in the Synoptics. Or at least, it doesn't have to be a literary reference, does it? It could have been, for instance, when John says that Jesus did many other signs, which are not recorded here. It doesn't mean that they're recorded in the Synoptics. So it could just have been in his life. Yeah, but he said here, in such a way, at least in translation, you have to look it up, the way it seems, that he's saying remember, and even though he says that, and here it says the parenthetical verse is probably the reminiscence of a tradition, similar to what it was in Matthew. He's not joking about that, is he? This is the New American Synoptic. Reminiscence?


I call it the reminiscence of the tradition, similar to that in Mark 6. Yeah. John's point is the contrast between the country of receptiveness, which is Galileus, and the country of resistance. I think he wants to use that Old Testament line, A prophet has no honor in his own country. About Jesus testifying about it. Oh yeah, sure. I don't remember where, but it's quoted in the Old Testament. this particular passage, one of that seven power referred to, like some of you think that the archangel was having quite a resurrection, or death


and resurrection, but there are other passages that deal with that in a certain way. But that's also a symbol of death. We're not told. The seven power, the immediate death, that's a symbol of the fact that it's a perfect time, it's a perfection, it's a symbol of perfection. Could be, could be. But why just at this time, why should we say we don't know? Well, so you can say the seventh hour was related in some way to what happened in a real seventh hour later on. But of course, the seventh hour is not so perfect because you have twelve hours, okay, so to say seven is an hour. But I thought that that number was a symbolic... Oh, it is a symbolic of perfection, yeah. So we don't know exactly. Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the sixth hour, and that referred us back to Genesis. I just


came across another footnote. It says, Pears thinks that some birds have been lost from the end of the wilderness for his fault, which may be surprised us, went into Galilee, but not to Nazareth, for Jesus himself had no chance in the prophet's country. Well, that would explain it, but it sounds like somebody's attempt to explain it. It sounds like somebody put it in there to solve this mystery, this contradiction of Jesus seeming to be, his own man seeming not to be in Galilee. You'd have to look at the textual history. Jung seems to intend this twist. And why it should be Cana, I don't know either. I've never found a good explanation of that. Why this second, there should be a second sign in Cana. Many people interpret it structurally that this closes a unit which began with


Cana, something like that. I haven't seen it too convincing. Okay, shall we move on? Now, the one thing that does come out strongly with this is its connection with the other symmetrical episodes here. Let me remind you what those are. The healing of the royal official, which I said was for us on the fifth day of creation, which is the creation of life here, of animal or human life, connects with the cleansing of the temple, which reflects Jesus' death, with the raising of Lazarus, which is another, not identical, but very similar sign, somebody who at this time is four days dead instead of just dying, is brought back to life, and with the trial, passion, and death of Jesus. So I think that's a perfect kind of symmetry there. In itself, it doesn't seem to be that strong. Okay, let's, maybe we can stretch ourselves a little bit today and go on to the next one, which happens to be today's gospel. John 5,


the paralytic at the pool. Let me just repeat a little something I said this morning. This one is symmetrical, by the way, with the man born blind. Now, those are twin signs in John, even though they're chapters apart, three or four chapters apart. They're symmetrical twins. The man born blind, there's so many parallels in the two miracles. For one thing, the pool reference, they're both on the Sabbath. Those are the only signs that Jesus does on the Sabbath in John's gospel. And then the dialogue, the controversy with the Jews that takes place in each case, with different performances on the part of the man born blind, who's magnificent, and the paralytic who's a jerk, who only succeeds in turning Jesus into the chief priest or whoever it is. I've been guided in this direction by people that I've read. Also, listening to Schneider's take, she's funny when she talks about paralytic.


Do we have the take? Sure, yeah. Oh, yeah. There are 17 of them. Are they in the library? No, they're not in the library. I've got them. If you want them, just let me know. I'll have to show you which is which and what's where. I'd like to know. Yeah, they're fascinating. And, of course, it's the sheep pool, and he speaks about the shepherd and the sheep. That's right. Good shepherd is later on, but that comes up in the parallel section. It's in the same section. With Lazarus, that is, just before that. No. It's in the corresponding section. At least you have it. That's right. That's right. That's right. I wonder if you know whether blindness and paralysis, you know, psychologically and spiritually, are being portrayed here in a way that allows some people some comfort


in terms of if this guy is the way he is and he's still, you know, and he's open to him and he's helping him, then anybody's got a chance. That's right. Even those paralyzed Jews or those blind Jews. I'm wondering if John deliberately makes, because it's unimaginable that a guy could be there how many years, 30, 38 years, waiting for somebody to push him into the water. He couldn't even fall into the pool. That's too much pushing. It's almost too extreme. It must be, it's like a dream where there's a daily reason for it. I'm sure there's a symbolic reason for that for him too. So I think that for me it's a bit comforting. Oh yeah. And you know what, it comforts me. No, no, not that. It's just that when you recognize


your own limitation. Jesus just comes along. He doesn't ask to be healed. He just comes along. The same with the blind man. He doesn't ask to be healed. They say that there's no tradition about any, they haven't found any such tradition of a healing pool in Jerusalem. Which is surprising. Where? You got it? Yes. Barrett says no. No, no. Since then, when we're founded, there is a gate that is still called the Sheep Gate. Okay, that's There is a sheep market still there. Okay. And right next to that are pools that have been now unearthed. Okay. And there is a temple of escapees there. Ah, never there anymore. So there's a healing significance to the pool. And then I said that he thinks that Jesus went into the temple of escapees and which Jew was there much time. Yeah, yeah. But this poor man was really


a heathen or sort of half human, so he was hoping to be healed by the dead. That's very interesting. Can you locate that? There's a ambulance there. Well, that was in 1973 when I was there. I don't know why my authorities haven't... It takes a long while for the truth to come from the other continent. And he says that one of his students is going to be stationed there. Oh, that's fascinating, because another thing ties in there too, you see, that if he were in the temple of escapees, then he would be an outsider like the Samaritan woman and a royal official who was probably a pagan. So that wing of our gospel, you see, would almost completely be the wing of the outsiders, okay? And the gratuity of what Jesus does on that side is that much more confirmed. I should think somebody would... It must be written up and be in the journal or something. It should be in a new commentary. Okay, now, what does this


reflect in the synoptic tradition and the other big gospels? Remember any? Got any paralytics? Anybody being lowered? Through the roof, as John has done it again. That's quite a change. It also seems to me to reflect the matter of the withered hand just a little bit, because the Sabbath thing, and then the anger of Jesus, the withered hand somehow is symbolic there. If you can't do the works of God on the Sabbath, on the Sunday, then you're somehow withered, okay? That tone, if not deliberate illusion, is there. But there's a concept, such a long concept, because the most outstanding thing about the man who comes down to the roof is that his friend tells him, without anything about the living, that he had no one. That's right, most deliberate in some way. And it's almost like John wants you to know that, and he wants to play upon it, kind of counterpoint or something like that. Let me read a little bit. That's Mark 2.


I thought we'd been through that particular problem. Oh, yeah, we've been through that one. That's our hermeneutic session. Okay, it was in Capernaum, and it was very crowded. They couldn't get through the door. They came bringing him a paralytic carried by four men. They couldn't get near him, so they removed the roof above him and lowered him down. When Jesus saw their face, he said to the paralytic, my son, your sins are forgiven. Over here he says, don't sin again or something worse may happen to you. It's as if each time, John, for reasons that are not immediately evident, makes that change and then leads us to interpret it, to follow it. Why does this man speak thus? It's blasphemy. Who can forgive sins but God alone? Then he says, well, is it easier to say such and such and say your sins are forgiven or say get up and walk? And he says, rise, take up your pallet and walk, and that's the same thing you find in James 5, isn't it? Almost exactly, almost word for word, so it's the same thing.


Now, it's hard to believe that John doesn't expect people to know the synoptic gospel, doesn't expect them to know Mark here and to make some kind of connection and to thereby use that as a help in interpreting what he writes. Um, because with Mark he couldn't have been a dabbler, because he couldn't have brought him there. Oh, let's see, I guess you're right. On the passion question, where there's also, where the Sabbath comes into their own place, when you compare Oh, and John, yeah, yeah. They couldn't have crucified him on the Sabbath. Yeah, yeah, we'll get to that later on. It's true, in Mark it's not said to be a Sabbath, and here it's deliberately a Sabbath along with a man-born blind sign. Could have


been, but that's, each of us has to make up his or her own mind on that one. It's simpler, but frustrating in the long run, I think, and may, because you'll end up with a lot of duplications. You're going to end up with two temple cleansings, one at the beginning and one at the end, and a whole bunch of, they're going to be twins ultimately. Okay, what do we find here? The symbolic, the symbolic significance for John, something is replaced, that is, whatever this old healing efficacy was of that pool on that level of natural religion or Jewish religion, something is fulfilled, just as the well is in John 4, the well somehow is somehow supplanted and fulfilled by something behind it, the well of living water. Remember in John 3, Nicodemus and the notion of rebirth through water and the Holy Spirit, which has a baptismal


resonance to it. There's something similar here, I think, in the background, something similar in the air. And remember also the importance of that moment of creation in John, and the presence of water and the Spirit at the first creation, and the connection of that with baptism. And so that just the presence of the, the kind of presence of the pool there, and then the way that the pool, just as every other physical symbol in John, directs you to something beyond itself, which is in Christ. And the thing that's beyond the pool and in Christ here, I think, is the reproduction of that first moment of creation, which we see in Ellis's center here, John's Gospel in John 6, where he walks on the water and says, I am. The reproduction of that in baptism. So it kind of, in that way, it emanates out into Christian life. And paralysis, resurrection,


raising up, rising up from paralysis is a little resurrection. So we're on the way to the raising of Lazarus and the raising of Jesus. There's a connection also, some kind of gradation between paralysis and blindness. Paralysis, blindness, and death. For John it would seem that blindness maybe is a deeper problem than paralysis, even though this guy is paralyzed, obviously, inside as well as outside. It's also interesting that Jesus makes the initiative. Yeah, yeah. He doesn't even say that he does. That's right. He just points out his difficulties. He does say, do you want to be healed? That is architectural argument, because if somebody is sick for 32 years, then it is really a question of if he wants to be healed. Yeah. They've adjusted, they've adapted so over that period of Yeah. But you know, in New Orleans, when you see the great history of the sidewalk, you


know, language is very saturated with exactly that. are about five people The parallel


in the other episode. Yeah. Yeah. Okay, the point of this is, I think it is, is that Jesus puts himself in the place of the creator, as it were. He is the creative word, and he comes, and he um, remember those key words there. Jesus answered them, my Father is still and I am working. This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath, but also called God his Father, making himself equal with God. My Father is working still I am working. The Father works through all the seven days of creation, and the Sabbath is the completion of his work, and that's what Jesus comes to do. Jesus, in a sense, is the Sabbath. He brings the Sabbath. He is the same one who spoke the Word in the beginning, that brought the creation in the beginning. He is that Word, and we're moving it towards its fulfilment. There's something else that you seem to have in common. In the Nebuchadnezzar story, it's night,


and in the Ecclesiastes, it's night, and then the man was blind in the dark, and this one is benighted. It's one benighted, and David spoke with benighted. Yeah, yeah, because, see, the light thing dominates the other three episodes. The wisdom supper discourse, the Nicodemus thing, where it's the matter of the light coming into the world, and the discourse that follows it. Another man was blind. The light theme is there, and here I couldn't find it. He's in the dark. Well, he sure is. But John never spells it out. We have to do it ourselves. Now, here we return to Genesis again, going beyond Judaism, going beyond the Sabbath, going beyond the temple, going beyond everything. Nature and law. Both religious law and laws of nature are like the six days which are supplanted by the Sabbath, which Jesus brings, which Sabbath he is. Because in the Sabbath, see, the God who said, who spoke and put creation into being somehow


outside of himself, comes to bring creation back inside of himself, and that's why it's the Sabbath. Here on this is recapitulation. The one day, the end day, which restores the creation is the God who created things as they were out there, comes into them and brings them into himself. The seventh day, which is the Sabbath, which is the marriage, which is the consummation of that nuptial image that we're following through God's gospel. Okay, shall we take one more mouthful before we quit today? This is brief. This is sequence nine, which is John 5, 30 through 46. It concludes this chapter five. For this, for Ellis, this is just one section of his sequence, which is the whole of chapter five. I've made it a separate sequence. This is a little artificial, obviously, but if it brings out the symmetry, then the symmetry can stand for itself. That's what we're trying to do. In this chapter, this is Ellis, John has made his first full-scale defense of Jesus' claims to divinity, and the opposition has reared its head. The opposition from the


scribes and Pharisees, whoever they are, that accuse him of breaking his Sabbath. Now, the theme seems to be witness here. It's all about who gives witness to Jesus. Okay, let me list them. First, he says, there's another who bears witness to me. It's not clear who that other is yet. Then John the Baptist gives witness to him. The works which the Father has given me bear witness to me. Then the Father himself bears witness to me, and I think that's the other. Of course, the Paraclete's going to bear witness too, but he doesn't speak about the Paraclete here. And then the scriptures bear witness to me, and Moses bears witness to me, and Moses and the scriptures are the same, I believe they are. The Torah and the author of the Torah are the same. And then finally, Jesus' own words give witness to him. If you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words, Moses' writings? It's all a question of his legitimization. Now, there's this issue of the glory from God and the glory from men. Doxa, glory, also means praise and also means opinion in Greek. There's going to be a lot more


about the glory of God towards the end of John's Gospel. You can almost say that's the theme of John's Gospel. Don't forget that our second half of the Gospel is called the Book of Glory by Brown and by others. So here we merely have kind of a passing reference, but it's kind of a deep one. You search the scriptures, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. That's pretty strong, isn't it? He's beginning to talk that kind of language, which leads up to the great I am language. I do not receive glory from men. In other words, I'm not worried about what you think about me, but I know that you have not the love of God within you. I'm worried about you, I'm worried about what's lacking in you, that you're on the wrong boat. I have come in my Father's name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, him you will receive. Some people say that's John the Baptist, but that doesn't seem likely. It would be anybody who comes kind of courting human praise. You're a religious teacher. What is it? The wolf in sheep's clothing in the other Gospels. How can you believe we'll receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory


that comes from the only God? How can we connect the faith that's in question there with those two kinds of glory? It's as if faith at that point is an option between two kinds of glory. Either I believe my ego on my ego level in that which is great in the eyes of men, or I believe in the glory which comes from the only God. Now what is that? That's the glory that's manifest in Jesus. Remember when in his first sign he revealed his glory and his disciples believed in him. The glory and the faith which comes through the sign. The glory which is in Jesus, which is manifested in his signs, and that is what they believe in. In other words, to believe in Jesus is to believe in the glory of God in Jesus. John doesn't say it explicitly. I think Paul comes closer to saying it explicitly. But it's as if the essence of belief in Jesus is the belief in the presence of the glory of God in Jesus. Now we have to enlarge that notion of the glory of God later on. We don't have time for it now. It's a very rich and deep and delightful notion of John. And John enlarges it in its own


way, as we'll see in John 17, where glory becomes everything else he's giving. It merges with the terms. Okay, yeah, that's right. That's very rich in the Jewish tradition. I did something like that before. I'll probably do more of it later when we get right into the theme of glory in John 17. The glory of God had a very concrete meaning for the Jews. Okay, so it was that visible cloud of glory and so on. But it was really, in itself, it was the presence of God. But it was the presence of God, which gradually took on a feminine aspect, and was called the Shekinah. Now Shekinah, the word comes from the notion of dwelling. It's the same word that we have in John's prologue, eskenosin and emin. It's a Greek adaptation, which means pitched his tabernacle. So tabernacle presence, and then its presence in Jesus in the Incarnation is deliberately put there by John. So the Shekinah of God is in Jesus. Okay, and that's exactly what he's going to pour out at the


end. And it has a feminine quality about it, which is more richly developed in John than anywhere else in the scriptures, I think. But it's implicit. We can understand the reverberation of the Father. Oh yes, oh yes, absolutely. Even though that is very low-key in John. The other women, actually, are closer to it somehow than his own mother in John, especially Magdalene. So the other option, aside from the glory of God, is the glory of man, which is to live on the level of the kind of infatuation of the eyes of our own ego with human praise, and with our own glory in some way. There's just two levels there. It's hard to get it exactly into words, but you see the choice. So faith and the glory of God, versus another kind of faith, evidently. The faith of self-affirmation, the faith of the confidence man, the faith of the sales market, the faith of the consumer culture, whatever you want to call it in our own civilization, the option is to live. That's a question on what you see, too. Do you see that glory of Jesus,


or only the other kind of thing? A little parallel to what we said about the mountains and the well before. The glory is going to become much more kind of tangible and real for us as we get toward the end of John's Gospel. Right now it's a turn. Anything else before we quit today? Excuse me for giving you so long. But we've made progress today. We moved through several chapters. Question from audience. Which? What's the verse number there? 19. Okay. Oh, yeah. That's interesting because you don't have the exact accusation of the Jews there. But what


is implied is that the Jews say, this man must be a sinner because he's breaking the Sabbath. Okay. I think that's the accusation in question. And it must have been right then, but maybe they didn't make it to his face. We don't know that they made it to Jesus' face, because there's no... Let's see. Now, whether he actually did that at that moment, or whether John put it together that way, it's impossible for us to say. Most of the commentators will say that John composed it, okay? That John gives you a sign and then a discourse. And because that pattern is characteristic of John, they'll say that, well, it probably didn't happen exactly that way in Jesus' life. But we don't know for sure. Okay. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world


without end. Amen. Next time I'd like to try to do John 6 and 7, if we can, all right? We'll probably only manage to get through John 6, which is very rich. That's the bread of life, and then the temple, and the living water. Yeah.


Okay, the Jews sent Jesus and Elijah from Jerusalem to ask, who are you? And they sent