Category Archives: Religion

Pentecost with peace and Spirit

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INTRODUCTION

Today is the seventh Sunday  after Easter and Christian Pentecost is celebrated. It should be celebrated tomorrow Monday that is fifthieth day after Passover.

“The term Pentecost comes from the Greek Πεντηκοστή (Pentēkostē) meaning “fiftieth”. It refers to the festival celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover,” ( Wiki )

John (  Gv 20,19-23 in Italian is therefore read.

 Jesus comes to into a closed house in Jerusalem that hosted  the Apostles and other followers of Jesus. They were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks Shavuot, as described in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:1–31)

Yo understand the message i think it is important to know what Pentecost and most important of all, what Shavout really is.

INDEX

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Pentecost etymology

The term Pentecost comes from the Greek Πεντηκοστή (Pentēkostē) meaning “fiftieth”. It refers to the festival celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover, also known as the “Feast of Weeks” and the “Feast of 50 days” in rabbinic tradition.

The Septuagint uses the term Pentēkostē to refer to the “Feast of Pentecost” only twice, in the deuterocanonical Book of Tobit and 2 MaccabeesThe Septuagint writers also used the word in two other senses: to signify the year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:10),  an event which occurs every 50th year, and in several passages of chronology as an ordinal number.[ii] The term has also been used in the literature of Hellenistic Judaism by Philo of Alexandria and Josephus (  Read more in  Wiki

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Shavout

I paste here the text in Wikipedia as I think it gives the information needed.

Shavuot (About this soundlisten ), Yiddish Shovues (About this soundlisten ) in Ashkenazi usage, (Hebrewשָׁבוּעוֹת, lit. “Weeks”), is known as the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost (Koinē GreekΠεντηκοστή) in English. It is a Jewish holiday that occurs on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan (it may fall between May 15 and June 14 on the Gregorian calendar).[Note 1][2]

Shavuot has a double significance, agricultural and spiritual. Agriculturally it marks the all-important wheat harvest in the Land of Israel (Exodus 34:22), and spiritually it commemorates the anniversary of the day when God gave the Torah to the nation of Israel assembled at Mount Sinai—although the association is not explicit in the Biblical text between the giving of the Torah (Matan Torah) and Shavuot.

The holiday is one of the Three Pilgrimage Festivals of the Bible. The word Shavuot means “weeks” and it marks the conclusion of the Counting of the Omer. Its date is directly linked to that of Passover; the Torah mandates the seven-week Counting of the Omer, beginning on the second day of Passover, to be immediately followed by Shavuot. This counting of days and weeks is understood to express anticipation and desire for the giving of the Torah. On Passover, the people of Israel were freed from their enslavement to Pharaoh; on Shavuot, they were given the Torah and became a nation committed to serving God.[3] The yahrzeit of King David is traditionally observed on Shavuot. Hasidic Jews also observe the yahrzeit of the Baal Shem Tov.[4]

Shavuot is one of the Jewish holidays which is less familiar to secular Jews in the Jewish diaspora, while those in Israel and the Orthodox community are more aware of it.[5][6]

Shavuot is celebrated in Israel by all congregations for one day including Conservative and Orthodox. As with other biblical holidays however Shavuot is celebrated by Conservative and Orthodox congregations in the Diaspora for two days (Yom tov sheni shel galuyot), however Reform congregations celebrate for a single day regardless of location.[7]

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

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The message

 

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conclusion

 

 

 


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Baptize in the name of the Father and of the Holy Spirit

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INTRODUCTION

Today Mt 28,16-20 is read. it is about Jesus last message to his disciples.
It is a pity that only Matthew share this.

INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

28:16 But the eleven disciples went into Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had sent them.
28:17 When they saw him, they bowed down to him, but some doubted.
28:18 Jesus came to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.
28:19 Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
28:20 teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” 

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The message

in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
original Greek: εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματοςeis to ónoma toû Patros kaì toû Huioû kai toû Hagíou Pneúmatos, ( Biblehub

The trinitarian formula

This saying apparently looks to support the trinity dogma. But  many discussions have been made about this dogma and some were killed by  Christians like Miguel Serveto. I wrote about it in this site  1919 in a separate post. I wrote among others:

Servetus published “De trinitatis erroribus” and “Dialogorum de Trinitate” in Switzerland. In these books, Servetus built a theology which maintains that the belief of the Trinity is not based on biblical teachings but rather on what he saw as deceiving teachings of (Greek) philosophers.

Despite the jehovas witness do not recognize the idea of trinity they have included this verse in their bible.
They say “Many Christian denominations teach that God is a Trinity. However, note what the Encyclopædia Britannica states: Neither the word Trinity nor the explicit doctrine appears in the New Testament . . . I
Jehovah our God is one Jehovah.”—Deuteronomy 6:4. “ ( Source: www.jw.org )

It is strange that only Matthew share this saying. May it have been added or manipulated later by the Church? 

A change in Matthew 29:19 to the trinitarian formula may be a case of Eisegesis. The text may have been changed to produce a ‘Jesus’ wholly ‘congenial’ to the Early church” (  Wiki   The Jesus Chrisis )

If Jesus invited to to baptize he for sure said it in Aramaic and he would not have mentioned himself putting himself  to be like God.
I think that he would have said instead:

Baptize
in the name of the Father and of the Holy Spirit

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conclusion

 

 

 


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20200517 Follow Jesus commandments.

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INTRODUCTION

Today a nice text of Johns Gospel i read. My preferred Gospel is Matthew but John’s has given me a lot of inspiration.

The text of todays text is taken from Gv 14,15-21

As I can not go to mass because of Corona lock down I listen to the mass on television.

I eat sourdough bread in memory of Jesus.

INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

14:15 Whatever you will ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you will ask anything in my name, I will do it.
14:16 If you love me, keep my commandments.

14:17 I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another  Counselor,  that he may be with you forever,  the Spirit of truth, whom the world can’t receive; for it doesn’t see him, neither knows him. 14:18 You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you.
14:19 I will not leave you 
orphans.
14:20 I will come to you.
14:20 Yet a 
little while, and the world will see me no more; but you will see me.
14:21 Because I live, 
you will live also.
14:22 In that day you 
will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
14:22 One who has 
my commandments, and keeps them, that person is one who loves me.
14:23 One who 
loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will reveal myself to him.”

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The message

14:15 Whatever you will ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you will ask anything in my name, I will do it.

I never ask in the name of Jesus. I ask God for help. But maybe I coult try what Jesus has said according to John. But I am always doubtful when Jesus raises himself over the last. He said the last will be first, the first will be last. As you know I this part looks for me like bragging.

14:16 If you love me, keep my commandments.

14:22 One who has my commandments, and keeps them, that person is one who loves me.

This is without any doubt Jesus words. He gave his hearth and life for us. he shared commandments that are invaluable. And some of them have been invaluable for me as a human and as a teacher.
if we do not follow these, we do not rely no him, we do not listen to him. he said “those who have ears, listen”
As pope Francis said today “Jesus did not want us to love him” He wanted us to love each other, even our enemies.

14:19 I will not leave you orphans.
14:20 I will come to you.
14:20 Yet
little while,

and the world will see me no more;

Many did not listen to this thinking that Jesus would soon be back. We do not see Jesus but we can feel Jesus presence.

What is important is to follow his commandments without the need of miracles. Jesus did not want to make miracles and many were for sure not done as described in the Gospels.

14:17 I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another  Counselor,  that he may be with you forever,  the Spirit of truth, whom the world can’t receive; for it doesn’t see him, neither knows him. 14:18 You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you.

4:17 …., and he (ed. God) will give you another  Counselor,  that he may be with you forever,  the Spirit of truth.

This is a key message. If we ask God in the name of Jesus, Jesus, is with God. But God has many Counselors around that can talk to us. The Spirit of truth is probably what is talking to us in our inner voice. it tells us when we do right or wrong. We must listen to it as it may be God that talks to you.

Without forgetting that sometime the words may be the word of the evil. But we know the difference between who is talking to you.

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conclusion

God is with us in his temple, the temple that is inside us.

If the voice tells you to not follow the kerygma (commandments) of Jesus then we know that it is the evil who talks to you.

 

 


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God, the shepherd of the Creation

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INTRODUCTION

Todaya we read John 10,1-10 the parable about the  shepherd of the sheep. The parable tells how a good shepherd should behave. is is a nice parable that allows important interpretations but I wonder about the explanation that Jesus gave according to John. May John have put his own interpretation in Jesus explication?

INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

10:01 “Most certainly, I tell you, one who doesn’t enter by the door into the sheep fold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But one who enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out. Whenever he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. They will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him; for they don’t know the voice of strangers.” Jesus spoke this parable to them, but they didn’t understand what he was telling them.

10:7 Jesus therefore said to them again, “Most certainly, I tell you, I am the sheep’s door. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters in by me, he will be saved, and will go in and go out, and will find pasture. The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly. 

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The message

Before dealing with this part it is important to remember that

God is the good shepherd

 at Jesus time, God was known as the good shepherd. 

Starting in the book of Genesis, God has always been known as a “good shepherd.” The Old Testament is full of verses that describe God has a “good shepherd.”Read more in aleteia.org

“I tell you, I am the sheep’s door. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters in by me, he will be saved,

Jesus was not a bragger

Did really Jesus say “ I am the sheep’s door. and repeated again “I am the door.”

Jesus is and has been a door for me as for many others, like the authors of Johns Gospel.

But the language is not Jesus language. He did not like to do miracles and he did not want his disciples to tell the world about is power. He was not a bragger shouting out “I am” this and that. he followed his own teaching “The last will be first… the first will be last”

I am rather convinced that the John Gospel authors, added their own interpretation to spice up the text for their own purposes and to add the dogma that Jesus is God.

Jesus was a good Jew.

He referred many times to previous prophets, like Moses, Jeremiah etc. Now he says All who came before me are thieves and robbers,” ? Some interpret this a referring to the priests of his time.

This is a unintelligent not Jesus alike sentence as it undermines religious tollerance and peace. A sign that these are probably not the words of Jesus. 
Again, a most probably, adding from the Gospel authors, with the goal to to give the early Church the right to “cast out”, kill Hebrews or any other prophet followers and  give themselves the title “shepherd”

Johns author may have found Mark’s description in  06:35 very useful:

“Jesus came out, saw a great multitude, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a Shepherd,”

Jesus never regarded himself equal to God. God was his father. John MacArthur talks about the OT (Old Testament) importance in the Shepherd image issue. Even if I do not agree about his conclusions, I think it is worth listening to:

the parable

Let us instead focus on the parable to understand its hidden messages.

The shepherd could be a  metaphore for any leader, a king, a president, a politician, a chairman, a doctor, a headmaster,  a teacher, a mother or the owner of  a garden, a dog or a cat.  All of us has something to take care of. All humans must be good shepherds.

many “sheeps” followed Hitler and Stalin but for other reasons. If these sheeps would have been able to, they would have fled, like Einstein and many others did.

The parable tells among others that: 

he goes before them,  and they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him;”

So does your “sheeps” follow behind you by their own will and don’t they flee from you? if yes, then you are probably a good shepherd. I say “probably” as you are not only the owner of your own garden and house. you are also a kind of “owner” of the Creation.

A good shepherd loves his sheeps, He does not damage, use violence nor he shouts or treathens. he makes them stay safe and cured.

As Pope Francis reminded “We are not owners of the Creation” in the “bad owner” sense, we can not do whatever we want with it.

So we could say “We must take care of the Creation that was given to us. We must not behave like a bad owner or human.

A good friend of mine, reminded me about another shepherd parable, the one where the shepherd left the sheep flock to save a sheep left behind. (Matthew 18:12–14) and Luke (Luke 15:3–7) A good shepherd does non abandon anyone. This is also a parable of “Love your next”.

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conclusion

This was the first time that I could not listen to a parable explanation in a Gospel. I think that it is important especially this time, to focus on the parable. It may be interpreted in many ways, the power of a good parable.

Jesus guided us to God. To be a good shepherd is obviously a important way to love God. if you do not love the Creation (animals and enemies included) you do not love God who created it.

It is not easy to be a good shepherd. You have to be patient and teach the right way. This man has not succeeded yet.

This man is obviously a good shepherd. Like Jesus talked about, he is going first and the sheeps follow him.

 

 


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Jesus lovely surprise

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Introduction

I wrote about this story April 20 2019 in this post.

Saturday evening April 26 we read Luke 24,13-35 that Jesus appeared with two of the disciples in a funny way.  He was resurrected and he made  two disciples  believe he was a stranger to have them tell how they  experienced and saw his death. That gave him the opportunity to tell them about the many signs given in the scriptures by the old prophets.

Index

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The NT text

The texts below are copied from a pdf in www.christianwritingtoday.com

Luke 24,13-35 tells about a funny way for Jesus to appear after his death.

24:13 Behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was sixty stadiai from Jerusalem.
24:14 They talked with each other about all of these things which had happened.
24:15 It happened, while they talked and questioned together, that Jesus himself came near, and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.
24:17 He said to them, “What are you talking about as you walk, and are sad?”
24:18 One of them, named Cleopas, an swered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things which have happened there in these days?”
24:19 He said to them, “What things?” They said to him, “The things concerning Jesus, the Nazarene, who was a prophetmighty in deed and word before God and all the people; and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him.
24:21 But we were hoping that it was he who would redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Also, certain women of our company amazed us, having arrived early at the tomb; and when they didn’t find his body, they came saying that they
had also seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of us went to the tomb, and found it just like the women had said, but they didn’t see him.”
24:25 He said to them, “Foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Didn’t the Christ have to suffer these things and to enter into his glory?” ‘

24:27Beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he explained to them in all the Scriptures the 8things concerning himself. They drew near to the village, where they were going, and he acted like he would go further.

24:29 They urged him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is almost evening, and the day is almost over.”
24:30He went in to stay with them. It happened, that when he had sat down at the table with them, he took the bread and gave thanks. Breaking it, he gave to them. Their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, and he vanished out of their sight. They said one
to another, “Weren’t our hearts burning within us, while he spoke to us along the way, and while he opened the Scriptures to us?” They rose up that very hour, returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and those who were with them, saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”

24:35 They related the things that happened along the way, and how he was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.

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The Message

Emmaus

As this story according to Luke happened on the road to Emmaus, I want to see the place. Greek: Ἐμμαούς, Emmaous; Latin: Emmaus; Hebrew: אֶמָּאוֹם, Emmaom; Arabic: عمواس‎, ʻImwas.

I could not find Emmaus in Google maps. Emmaus got a new name obviously today. I finally found in Wiki the name Al-Qubeiba That is near Amaos Church on the hill in this photo

Emmaus is described as being 60 stadia (10.4 to 12 km depending on what definition of stadion is used, from Jerusalem. Emmaus, today Al_Qubeiba is at the red spot north from Jerusalem.

They for sure found shorter ways that cars cant take today, taking less time to cover without going to far north.

Going north was maybe a first step in seeking security in Samaria  (Sychar probably called todaay “Tell balata” (see Wiki photo below) 16 hours walk from Jerusalem, near Nablos and the mount Gerizim today) where Jesus and his disciples with the Samaritan woman found a faithful people.

According to Wiki research “The built structure shows evidence of considerable damage dated to the 190s BC, and attributed to Antiochus III‘s conquest of Israel. Habitation continued until the final destruction of the city at this site in the late 2nd century BC. ”

So the town of Sychar as told about in the the Samaritan woman may not be correct. However it is clear that north of Jerusalem we find Samariaa more secure site for the disciples of Jesus.

About the text

This is a wonderful piece of text where Jesus is making a clever joke having the two disciples believe he is a foreigner to have them tell what happened. Indeed a clever joke. it is simply to nice and clever  to have been invented by Luke.

There is no reason for Jesus to ask about what happened in Jerusalem. But he probably want to know what they understood and believed in.

Jesus shows his love, empathy and sympathy with the disciples. No signs of rage for their fleeing away from him when he was arrested.

Like Jesus showed up on the road to Emmaus so he can appear to us all like the more scaring metaphore “robber in the night”. Most probably he appears inside you. he didn’t like to make miracles and big eye catching shows. If we keep silence and listen carefully you may be able to talk with Jesus.

Mark 16:12–13 has a similar but very undetailed version

16:12disbelieved. After these things he was
revealed in another form to two of them, as
they walked, on their way into the country.
16:13 They went away and told it to the rest.
They didn’t believe them, either.

Luke probably wanted to add more details to show a different image of the personality of Jesus,.

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Conclusions

It was good to rewrite my previous year post and meditate over the text of Luke.

I wonder if Luke was right with his picture, Jesus had a good sense of humor despite we never read about a laughing Jesus.

Maybe he laughed while being a child.

20200419 Jesus second post-Resurrection appearance

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INTRODUCTION

Today we read Gv 20,19-31 about Jesus appearing in the house with the disciples. Jesus does not scold the disciples who fled from him but just says “Peace with you.”.

John talks about a second post-resurrection appearance that is not mentioned in the other Gospels. In Mark 16:7, Jesus appears to all the disciples on a mountain in Galilee. But according to Cross & Livingstone 2005, p. 888.the appearance in Galilee, is widely believed to be a later addition to the original gospel. ( en.wikipedia.org )

in Luke 24,13-35 Jesus appears on the road to a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem toCleopas. I wrote about Lukes story in http://www.kinberg.net/wordpress/stellan/2019/04/

Acts has appearances to Paul on the Road to Damascus, to the martyr Stephen, and to Peter, who hears the voice of Jesus.

Can we believe in these stories?

INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

John 20,18-31  writes:

20:18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had said these things to her. When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were locked where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be to you.”

20:20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples  therefore were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus therefore said to them again, “Peace be to you. As the Father has
20:22 sent me, even so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit! If you forgive anyone’s sins, they have been forgiven them. If you retain anyone’s sins, they have been retained.”

20:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, wasn’t with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his
hands the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

20:26 After eight days again his disciples were inside, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, the doors being locked, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace be to you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Reach
here your finger, and see my hands. Reach here your hand, and put it into my side. Don’t be unbelieving, but believing.”
20:28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
20:29 Jesus said to him, “Because you have lseen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen, and have believed.”

20:30 Therefore Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.”

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The message

 

he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit! If you forgive anyone’s sins, they have been forgiven them. If you retain anyone’s sins, they have been retained.”

If these words are true or not can not be said. No other Gospel mention these words.

These words may have been added by the authors of John to give themselves the right to to forgive, if you confess.

The Book of Thomas contained no postResurrection appearances in its original . Read more in en.wikipedia.org

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conclusion

I personally believe more in in Luke 24,13-35 where Jesus appears on the road to a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem.

That story is not useful for the Catholic church as Johns story.

Appearances or not are not so important. As I always claim, the miracles and other incredible stories are not necessary to believe in Jesus. What is important is to listen to Jesus Kerygma.

 

 


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Jesus Passover and Passion

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INTRODUCTION

Today in a empty Vatican, Mt 26,14- 27 ,66. in Italian is read. I wont dedicate this post to the whole reading as it is very long.

I normally focus on the kerygma of Jesus. but this time my focus is on what he told the disciples to do before the passover and a few more passages I wrote about in previous posts.

INDEX

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The text

( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

Mt 26,14- 27 ,66

Passover and Passion

26:2 Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests

26:17 Now on the first day of unleavened bread, the disciples came to Jesus, saying to him, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?”
26:18 He said, “Go into the city to a certain person, and tell him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.”’”

they prepared the Passover.

at the table with the twelve disciples.

26:21 As they were eating, he said, “Most certainly I tell you that one of you will betray me.”
26:22 They were exceedingly sorrowful, and each began to ask him, “It isn’t me, is it, Lord?”
26:23 He answered, “He who dipped his hand with me in the dish, the same will betray me.
26:24 The Son of Man goes, even as it is written of him, but woe to that man through whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had not been born.”
26:25 Judas, who betrayed him, answered, “It isn’t me, is it, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You said it.”
26:26 As they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks for it, and broke it. He gave to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”
26:27 He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave to them, saying, “All of you drink it,
26:28 for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins.
26:29 But I tell you that I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on, until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”

to the Mount of Olives.

26:31 Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of me tonight, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
26:32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you into gethGalilee.”
26:33 But Peter answered him, “Even if all will be made to stumble because of you, I will never be made to stumble.”
26:34 Jesus said to him, “Most certainly I tell you that tonight, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”
26:35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you.” All of the disciples also said likewise.
26:36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go there and pray.”
26:37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and severely troubled. 26:38 Then he said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here, and watch with me.”
26:39 He went forward a little, fell on his face, and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me; nevertheless, not what I desire, but what you desire.”
26:40 He came to the disciples, and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What, couldn’t you watch with me for one hour?
26:41 Watch and pray, that you don’t enter into temptation. The spirit in deed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
26:42 Again, a second time he went away, and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cup can’t pass away from me unless I drink it, your desire be done.”
26:43 He came again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.
26:44 He left them again, went away, and prayed a third time, saying the same words.
26:45 Then he came to his disciples, and said to them, “Sleep on now, and take your rest. Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
26:46 Arise, let’s be going. Behold, he who betrays me is at hand.”

Judas, one of the twelve, came,

26:50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, why are you here?” Then they came an  laid hands on Jesus, and took him.
26:51Behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck the servant of the high priest, and struck off his ear.
26:52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place, for all those who take the sword will die by the sword.
26:53 Or do you think that I couldn’t ask my Father, and he would even now send me more than twelve legions of angels?
26:54 How then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that it must be so?”

26:61 and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.’”

26:63 But Jesus held his peace. The high priest answered him, “I adjure you by the living God, that you tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God.”
26:64 Jesus said to him, “You have said it. Nevertheless, I tell you, after this you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of the sky.”

as the Lord commanded me.”
27:11 Now Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said to him, “So you say.”
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The message

About passover

Passover starts  this year at sundown on Wednesday, April 8  “What is often called Passover today has its origins in two ancient observances. Nissan 14 was the Passover (Pesach) as mentioned in the Torah” but the Catholic church always moves it to the weekend before. ( read more in www.almanac.com 

Jesus actually eats a passover meal before he dies,
in John’s gospel he doesn’t. In Matthew, Jesus actually eats a passover meal before he dies. But Matthew makes Jesus be very vague in his instruction to the disciples. We read:

26:18 He said,Go into the city to a certain person, and tell him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.”’

How could the disciples find the right person in a big city like Jerusalem, with such a instruction?

The author of Matthew who must have read Mark, probably did not believe in the detailed instruction that Mark shares in his Gospel.

Mark 14:12-15 let Jesus be much more detailed:

Mark 14:12-15:
14:12 On the first day of unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the Passover, his disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and 
14:13 He sent two of his disciples, and said to them, “Go into the city, and there you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him,
14:14 and wherever he enters in, tell the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’
14:15 He will himself show you a large upper room furnished and ready. Get ready for us there.”

 Luke accepted Marks version and almost copies it:

 Luke 22:10-12
“Behold, when you have entered into the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him into the house which he enters.
22:11 Tell the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’
22:12 He will show you a large, furnished upper room. Make preparations there.”

David Instone-Brewer is a research fellow at Tyndale House, a research library in biblical studies located in Cambridge, England.

According to Instone-Brewer “The Synoptics say that the Last Supper was on “the first day of unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the Passover” (Mk. 14:11// Mt. 26:17; Lk. 22:7). The term “first day of unleavened bread” would normally refer to the 15th Nisan, which was the first day on which unleavened bread was not permitted in the house, but it can also refer to the 14th when the unleavened bread was removed from the houses.”  Read more here here

I do not find the date issue so important.

I thought that John did not tell about Jesus Passover as he somehow like Matthew, did not believe in the words shared by Mark and Luke. but I found another explanation in the article

“The Gospel of John –
Embedded in the so called “spiritual gospel” is an architectural hostility toward Judaism.” 

The article in  www.pbs.org  concludes saying that:
“John’s gospel is witness to a Christianity that’s moving farther and father away from Jewish tradition. And in fact it’s seeing Jewish tradition often as actually hostile to the Christian movement.” Read more in  www.pbs.org:

I presume that Mark and Luke are correct about what Jesus said to the disciples.

But in that case, how could Jesus foresee what was going on in Jerusalem? I have talked before about entanglement.

I am quite convinced that Jesus maybe like many prophets were entangled with God. Jesus saw what God could see was going on in Jerusalem.

This is my body and blood

26:26 As they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks for it, and broke it. He gave to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”
26:27 He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave to them, saying, “All of you drink it,
26:28 for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins.
26:29 But I tell you that I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on, until that day when I drink it a new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”

This part had led me to believe that the Universe is the body or incarnation of God. I wrote about this 2019 in a separate post.

26:32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you into Galilee.”

this lead to a funny part of the Gospel when Jesus appear suddenly with the disciples who did not recognize him. Read more in this post

6:36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go there and pray.”

Gethsemane, garden across the Kidron Valley on the Mount of Olives (Hebrew Har ha-Zetim), a mile-long ridge paralleling the eastern part of Jerusalem, where Jesus is said to have prayed on the night of his arrest before his Crucifixion. (Source: www.britannica.com )

So they left Jerusalem.

26:38 Then he said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here, and watch with me.”
26:39 He went forward a little, fell on his face, and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me; nevertheless, not what I desire, but what you desire.”

So who was near him hearing Jesus. Like with the story of the desert, i wonder if Jesus really said this or jesus told his disciples what he asked God for. as…

26:40 He came to the disciples, and found them sleeping,

26:41 Watch and pray, that you don’t enter into temptation. The spirit in deed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

This is a important kerygma. Watch that you do not enter in temptation. Like moder Suor Mirella said in “Voci dal silenzio”. “We must watch our thoughts.”

26:42 Again, a second time he went away, and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cup can’t pass away from me unless I drink it, your desire be done.”
26:43 He came again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.

26:44 He left them again, went away, and prayed a third time, saying the same words.

Again and for the same reason, I am critical to the autenticity of these words as we read 26.43.

26:45 Then he came to his disciples, and said to them, “Sleep on now, and take your rest. Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

Without any time in between….

26:46 Arise, let’s be going. Behold, he who betrays me is at hand.”

26:49 Immediately he came to Jesus, and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed him.
26:50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, why are you here?” Then they came an laid hands on Jesus, and took him.

This is remarkable. He says to Jude “Friend”. he loves the enemy like he teached. But the question is rethoric as he knows  why.

26:52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place, for all those who take the sword will die by the sword.
26:53 Or do you think that I couldn’t ask my Father, and he would even now send me more than twelve legions of angels?
26:54 How then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that it must be so?”

The question is “Can we ask our father to send legions of angels” to protect ourselves from sick leaders like Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler and similar?
This is not  message of peace “Asking our father for revenge”  but these words have not been useful for the Church, so I presume these words were really Jesus words.

Jesus is taken to Caiaphas

Jesus is not a bragger

26:64 Jesus said to him, “You have said it. Nevertheless, I tell you, after this you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of the sky.”

Jesus was not the kind of man who bragged like this. And who has been able to write down Jesus answers. Did Peter who was outside the court, allowed to hear this? I do not believe Jesus said this. Jesus did not need to brag. As Jesus later said ” So you say”: 

27:11 Now Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said to him, “So you say.” and he preferred to be silent (27;14) or if he could go away as he did from the mount Kedumim in Nazareth. Luke 4.29

I talked about “Jesus is not a bragger” in a previous post.

About Peters denial 26:69-26:75

Jesus up to Pontius Pilate 27:2-31

27:13 Then Pilate said to him, “Don’t you hear how many things they testify against you?”

27:14 He gave him no answer, not even one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.

A cross?

27:32 As they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name, and they compelled him to go with them, that he might carry his cross.

As you can read in greek he helped to carry the stauron.  A cross is to heavy to carry for a man. The romans had the condemned nailed to the patibulum, the horizontal beam and then they hanged up the patibulum on the stake that was alreadt fixed in a deep hole. Read more in my previous post about crucifiction.

 

The crucifiction  27:33-47

27:46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, limaa sabachthani?” That is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

I dont believe in this translation. God is not a human that needs to forsake or abandon. Read more in my previous post about this.

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conclusion

The Passover and Passion  story is really a horrible and depressing story. I personally prefer to read what happened after his passion.

But there are a few things/pearls to learn and understand in this story. I tried my best to share my thoughts about these pearls. You may share others with me if you want by writing a comment below.


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20200329 Jesus wept

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INTRODUCTION

Tomorrow Sunday March 29 we read Gv 11,1-45 (Italian).

I am very skeptical about the many miracles told about in the Gospels. As you maybe know, I prefer to focus on the Kerygma of Jesus.

Only when Jesus himself talk about a miracle I look closer at it. 
He talked about the miracle with Lazarus.

I presume God helped Jesus to get Lazarus body travel back in time to when he still lived. You know that time is relative. God is able to do anything and this was a good time to have Jesus get attention from the miracle hungy people.

But the most remarkable thing in this story, is said that Jesus wept.

Jesus teached and teaches us that weeping, like turning our other cheek and loving our enemy, is not a sign of weakness. We show weakness by bragging, shouting out stupidities and nonsense and seeking revenge.

INDEX

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The text

Here is Gv 11,1-45 in English
( N:B. The texts below are copied from www.christianwritingtoday.com/free_downloads/WebNT_CWTedition.pdf )

11:1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus from Bethany, of the village of Mary and her sister, Martha. It was that Mary who
had anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother, Lazarus, was sick. The sisters therefore sent to him, saying, “Lord, behold, he for whom you have great affection is sick.”
11:4 But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This sickness is not to death, but for the glory of God, that God’s Son may be glorified by it.” Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When therefore he
heard that he was sick, he stayed two days in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let’s go into Judea again.”
11:8 The disciples told him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you, and are you going there again?”
11:9 Jesus answered, “Aren’t there twelve hours of daylight? If a man walks in the day, he doesn’t stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if a man walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light isn’t in him.” He said these things, and after that, he said to them, “Our friend, Lazarus, has fallen asleep, but I am going so that I may  qwake him out of sleep.”
11:12 The disciples therefore said, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.”
11:13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he spoke of taking rest in sleep. So Jesus said to them plainly then, “Lazarus is dead. I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so
that you may believe. Nevertheless, let’s go to him.”
11:16 Thomas therefore, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go also, that we may die with him.”
11:17 So when Jesus came, he found that he had been in the tomb four days already.
11:18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about fifteen stadia away.  Many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother. 11:20Then when Martha
heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary stayed in the house. Therefore Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. Even now I know that, whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
11:24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will still live, even if he dies. Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?
11:27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, God’s Son, he who comes into the world.”
11:28 When she had said this, she went away, and called Mary, her sister, secretly, saying, “The Teacher is here, and is calling you.”
11:29 When she heard this, she arose quickly, and went to him. 11:30Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was in
the place where Martha met him. Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and were consoling her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, “She is going to
the tomb to weep there.” Therefore when Mary came to where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.”
11:33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews weeping who came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was
troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They told him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept.

11:36 The Jews therefore said, “See how much affection he had for him!” Some of them said, “Couldn’t this man, who opened the eyes of him who was blind, have also kept this man from dying?”
11:38 Jesus therefore, again groaning in himself, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
11:40 Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see God’s glory?”
11:41 So they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, “Father, I thank
you that you listened to me. 11:42I know that you always listen to me, but because of the multitude that stands around I said this, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, he cried
with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

11:44 He who was dead came out, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth.
Jesus said to them, “Free him, and let him go.”
11:45 Therefore many of the Jews, who came to Mary and saw what Jesus did, believed in him. But some of them went away to the Pharisees, and told them the things which Jesus had done. The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council, and said,  What are we doing? For this man does many signs. If we leave him alone like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation. But a certain one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is advantageous for us that one man should die for the people, andthat the whole nation not perish.” Now he didn’t say this of himself, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but that he might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day forward they took counsel that they might put him to death.

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The message

I wrote about Lazarus time ago in http://www.kinberg.net/wordpress/stellan/2018/01/24/life-afterlife/#Biocentrism

11:4 But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This sickness is not to death, but for the glory of God, that God’s Son may be glorified by it.” 

od?John is repeating himself here. He wrote about the blind man miracle in John,9,3
‘he was born blind so that the works of God might be revealed in him.

I am in doubt however that Jesus used the words God’s Son talking about himself.

s this a fill out to support to the other Gospel authors story about Jesus getting  his male chromosomes from God?
As I said before in a previous post, Jesus was not a bragger and he didn’t want to offend Jews.  You may remember about Jesus saying “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen” in Matthew 17:9
And after all, aren’t we all, Sons of God?

11:9 Jesus answered, “Aren’t there twelve hours of daylight? If a man walks in the day, he doesn’t stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if a man walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light isn’t in him.” He said these things, and after that, he said to them, “Our friend, Lazarus, has fallen asleep, but I am going so that I may  wake him out of sleep.”
11:12 The disciples therefore said, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.”
11:13-22 ….

11:23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will still live, even if he dies. Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?

Probably again, a fill out, making again Jesus a bragger.

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11:35  Jesus wept.

Jesus is said to have wept approaching Jerusalem as told by Luke 19:41-45:
19:41 When he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, …

Curt Harlow talking about the Luke case in this video:

As jesus weeped, so I also think that God weep its own day, looking  at the suffering happening on Earth now,  at the pain of so many humans hit by Corona.

God does not want us to suffer but this is part of the Creation. Humans because of its nature, must suffer to get EQ,  emotional  intelligence.

As said in my introduction,Jesus teached us that weeping, like turning our other cheek and loving our enemy, is not a sign of weakness. We show weakness by bragging, shouting stupidities and nonsense and seeking revenge.

This reminds me about Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34 where Jesus cried out the mysterious words “Eloi lama sabachthani” (I prefer the interpretation used by Aramaic Christians “My God, my God,  for this I was spared” instead of the rhetoric question “God, why have your forsaken/spared me?” that was copied from psalm 22:1. Listen to Leslie Hale about this. )
Jesus did not talk there about himself. he did not regard himself to be God.
And most important of all, he did not hide his feelings.

11:38 Jesus therefore, again groaning in himself, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” 

11:39: Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
11:40 Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see God’s glory?”

11:41 So they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, “Father, I thank
you that you listened to me. 11:42 I know that you always listen to me, but because of the multitude that stands around I said this, that they may believe that you sent me.” …

11:45 Therefore many of the Jews, who came to Mary and saw what Jesus did, believed in him.

At that time, like today peoples needed divine interfering to listen carefully bus as we know and see how many are really following Jesus kerygma?

11:46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees, and told them the things which Jesus had done…

I wonder here how the author of John’s Gospel could know about this dialog. Caiaphas is said to have written a report about Jesus but I have not seen any recording of this council dialog.

the pharisees certainly did not share their talking to outsiders.
This part may be a fill out with a nice speculation about the doings and talkings of the priests.

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conclusion

The text been read tomorrow has made me focus on a different view of Jesus, many forget. Many remember how Jesus got angry in the temple. Everyone knows however that Jesus never wept on the cross except having cried out according to Matthew 27:46, the words “Eloi lama sabachthani”, as I said above. most probably translated wrongly as “God, why have your forsaken me?.

God does not forsake anyone. God maybe weep also seeing what humans has gone and is going through.

Have you ever wept? Do it and you will have a new experience, a experience of relief.

It has been good to meditate over the weeping Jesus and the meaning of and the underlying message of this.

 

 


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20200322 Jesus about the blind man

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INTRODUCTION

Today at Catholic mass Gv 9,1-41 (it) is read.

As you know I try to not get blinded by the miracles, documented in the Gospels. Jesus kerygma is miracle enough and shows that Jesus was a prophet conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary. Look e..g at his commandment “Love your enemy” and “turn the other cheek” that completely revolutionized the thinking of his time that was led by the revenge mantra and animal instinct.

But this miracle story is special. As told by John it sounds like a metaphore about human blindness.

I will in this post try to analize the miracle and message Jesus gave according to John 9,1-41

INDEX

  • introduction
  • The text
  • The message
    • blindness
    • “revealed with him”
    • “the works of God”
    • “revealed in him”
      • blind prophets
      • temple of God
      • Distracted by sight
      • Inner voice
      • meditation
      • Talking with God
      • The blind man – a metaphore
      • Jesus was not the first prophet
      • The value of silence
  • Conclusion

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The text

Most of the text has focus on the miracle of open the vision of a man born blind. I share here the message of Jesus in this passage:

John,9,1-5; 39-41;  says:

1 As he went along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth.

2 His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should have been born blind?’

3 ‘Neither he nor his parents sinned,’ Jesus answered, ‘he was born blind so that the works of God might be revealed in him.

4 ‘As long as day lasts we must carry out the work of the one who sent me; the night will soon be here when no one can work.

5 As long as I am in the world I am the light of the world.’

6-38 The Pharisees talk with the the blind man and his parents about the miracle

39 Jesus said: It is for judgement that I have come into this world, so that those without sight may see and those with sight may become blind.

40 Hearing this, some Pharisees who were present said to him, ‘So we are blind, are we?’

41 Jesus replied: If you were blind, you would not be guilty, but since you say, ‘We can see,’ your guilt remains.

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The message

 

The story is about a man born blind

Blindeness

I studied and wrote previously about consciousness and neuroscience. let us look at blindness. healthline says:

“Blindness is the inability to see anything, including light. If you’re partially blind, you have limited vision. For example, you may have blurry vision or the inability to distinguish the shapes of objects. Complete blindness means you can’t see at all. …”

Blind people have auditory dreams

Department of Physics
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign writes:

“blind people do dream. What they see in their dreams depends on how much they could ever see. If someone has been totally blind since birth, they only have auditory dreams.”

About  He was born blind so that the works of God might be revealed in (ed. greek: ἐν) him

or “Revealed with him”?

It is to be noted that Jesus said: 
“The works of God might be revealed in him ”
He did not say:
“The works of God might be revealed with him” 

As this phrase is said after Jesus made a blind man see it leads easily to read revealed with him” . This leads to the simplicistic and common interpretation  that there are blind humans so God and Jesus with blind people can show the humans “the works of God.”as the miracles of God and Jesus.

WHO says that “The estimated number of people visually impaired in the world is 285 million, 39 million blind and 246 million having low vision; 65 % of people visually impaired and 82% of all blind are 50 years and older (Table 2)”

It sounds for me absurd that millions of people are to be born blind by God so God can show its power to heal.

the works of God

works  is written in Greek as ἔργα (erga)

erga is seen also in Matthew 23:3 translated as deed
“but do not be guided by what (ed. the work) they do, since they do not practise what they preach.”

So the works of God may also refer to the Creation of God as revealed in the Genesis. But as Genesis was already revealed to Moses, this interpretation should be excluded.

So let us look closer at 

“revealed in him”

So, I wonder what may a blind man get revealed “in him” that seing man isn’t?

Does it says that blind are destined to become prophets to share the messages of God?

Prophets are known to get words revealed

Blind prophets

Despite there are and have been many humans born blind, I found only a few who were regarded as blind prophets:

  1. Ahijah_the_Shilonite is one prophets that was blind according to the book of kings.
  2. Tiresias is another one.
  3. Baba_Vanga is the third I found.

I find that I have to abandon this path. I remenbered then that

We are the temple of God

We have read in the Corinthians 3:16 these interesting words of Paul:

Do you not know that you are a temple of God 
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

Some prophets have got messages revealed in dreams. More or less like the woodworker Joseph about the danger for his son.

Being distracted by sight

A blind man is not distracted by vision signals sent from the eyes. Being Born blind they have  no inner vision nor visual dreams but having auditory dreams they may have a inner voice. 

Inner voice

In my experience and what I l read about, we all have a inner voice.

Look at this video about inner voice.

Inner voice may be pathological as it is for some killers.

However with meditation we can train ourselves to not get so distracted by impulses, in this case visual impulses.

The woman in this video says that according to fMRi studies, the auditory cortex is activated if you have a dialog with someone in your mind.

Talking with God

Maybe we can talk with God or anyone you know that has deceased?

The blind man a metaphore of darkness in our mind?

This second interpretation I have met in priest sermons, is more intelligent. It connects to Jesus saying “I am the light of the world.’” but I don’t think that Jesus really said that. He was not a bragger as I wrote about in another post.

As I said in my introduction Jesus has “completely revolutionized the thinking of his time that was led by the revenge mantra and animal instinct.”

Jesus has with his words opened the mind of many, mine too.

But Jesus was not the first prophet to “open our minds”.

Jesus was  preceded by the Zoroastrians Gathas in the Iranian region were the main message and the ethical goals of Zoroastrianism was “good thoughts, good words, good deeds” (See the “Threefold Path of Asha: Humata, Huxta, Huvarshta“) 
Buddhism came before the Zoroastriam ethical goals in India with the Eightfold_Path of Enlightment.

Jesus as it is known in matthew/15-24.htm, was sent only “to the lost sheep of Israel.” a people who seldom had relations with the people in Iran and India and followed their own path of “eye for an eye”.

So like Christian say that Jesus is the light, is not correct for all humans around the world. I would rather say 

Jesus was the light for “the lost sheep of Israel.”

and is still today for the lost humans caught by their animal instincts

I have been helped by the words of Jesus several times, when I ended up in “mind blindness”.

But Buddhist meditation like prayer has also helped me to see light during dark moments of my life.

It is interesting to read hindu Mahatma Gandhi writing that:

(Image source: pastorlesterbentley.com/ )

The value of silence

Elisabeth of trinity has teached us about the value of Silence for this inner dialog.

And as Rumi said

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conclusion

As said in my introduction I normally omit all miracle stories to focus on Jesus words, kerygma.

But this miracle is special one.

True or not, as told by the great author of John, this miracle story  is a metaphor about the human kind.

A human kind that has been “blind” since its birth (in Africa) but can see again with the light, a metaphor of the words of prophets, starting with Adam that maybe was incarnated in a human body after his spirit had to leave Eden in Heaven to come down to earth. See my post about this yet indeterminable hypothesis )

We don’t have the words of Adam but of Moses, several other prophets and the last 2000 years, the words of Jesus shared in the Gospels and the words Muhammad heard in the cave above Mecca and then shared in the Quran. We have plenty of light (words) around us.

You understand or are reminded, I am interreligious. I believe that God did not discriminate. God talked to many, to Siddhartha in India who teached us how to live well with our body and mind, to Zoroaster in Iran who shared his Gathas, to Christians with the voice of Jesus shared in  the Gospels and to Muhammad who shared what he heard in the cave over Mecca in the Quran.

Like the pope Francis, said today, we should also become light by sharing the words and of course, being examples of good humans.

This part of the Gospel of John has led me into a nice voyage in my mind, ending up in thinking about my own iinner dialog

He was born blind so that the works of God might be revealed in him

We are all “blind” at birth with a great curiosity. In our inner blindness we want to learn and understand. In our search, we may later find our inner temple and a voice talking to us and guiding us. Our brain is prepared for this dialog. But question is if we are able to listen. 

Find a quiet and peaceful place (may it be in the wood, in a church or on a balcony) where you feel good. Sit down in a comfortable chair and start listen to your inner voice. Ask God and God listen to the answer.

20200315 Jesus and the Samaritan woman

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INTRODUCTION

Today March 15 is the second Sunday where Italian mus stay home and can not attend Mass at Church, regarded as a  epidemic risc for contagieing others. The Mass is a important for many Italians and especially for those in prisons who know can not have visits from their relatives.

But fortunately, the mass is sent by Rai1 at 11.00 from a empty mass in Rome. I have looked at Rai1 mass for a long time as I for my post stroke mental fatigue sleep badly sometimes and have difficulties to go to mass at 9.00 as it is celebrated here.

Today at Catholic mass Gv 4,5-42 John tells about Jesus encounter with the Samaritan woman that gives a nice example of Jesus respect for a people that was bullied as dogs by the Jews at his time for historical reasons.

I wrote about Jesus and the Samaritans July 2019 in a historical view at www.kinberg.net/wordpress/stellan/2019/07/14/jesus-and-the-samaritans/.

In that post I refered to Luke 10:25-37

 

INDEX

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The text

John 4,5-45 says:

Jesus comes to Sychar

4:05 So he came to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son, Joseph. Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being tired from his journey, sat down by the well.

At the well alone, with the Samaritan woman

It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

4:09 The Samaritan woman therefore said to him, How is it that you, being a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” 
4:10 Jesus answered her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

04:11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. From where then have you that living water? Are you greater than our father, Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself, as did his children, and his livestock?”

The Living water metaphore

04:13 Jesus answered her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
04:15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I don’t get thirsty, neither come all the way here to draw.”
04:16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”
04:17 The woman answered, I have no husband. Jesus said to her, You said well, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands; and he whom you now have is not your husband. This you have said truly.”
04:19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.”
04:21 Jesus said to her,Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, will you worship the Father. You worship that which you don’t know. We worship that which we know; for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshippers. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
04:25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah comes,”  “When he has come, he will declare to us all things.”
04:26 Jesus said to her, I am he, the one who speaks to you.
At this, his disciples came. They marveled that he was speaking with a woman; yet no one said, “What are you looking for?” or, “Why do you speak with her?” So the woman left her water pot, and went away into the city, and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything that I did. Can this be the Christ?”

Inhabitants of Sychar comes to Jesus

04:30 They went out of the city, and were coming to him. In the meanwhile, the disciples urged him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”
04:32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.”
04:33 The disciples therefore said one to another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?”

Jesus food

04:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to  do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work.  Don’t you say, ‘There are yet four months until the harvest?’ Behold, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and look at the fields, that they are white for harvest already. He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit to eternal life; that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true, ‘One sows, and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you haven’t labored. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

Jesus staid with The Sychar Samaritans 

04:39 From that city many of the Samaritans believed in him because of the word of the woman, who testified, “He told me everything that I did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of his word.
04:42 They said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of your speaking; for we have heard for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”

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The message again – text with thoughts

As John 4:1 tells

At the well alone, with the Samaritan woman

It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

4:09 The Samaritan woman therefore said to him, How is it that you, being a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” 

Jesus a a stranger for the woman

The woman saw that Jesus was a jew probably because of his appearance but she did not recognize that it was Jesus

The  lonely woman that did not run back to the home.

A that time like today, it was not allowed nor recommendable for a woman to be alone near a stranger.
The woman must have got a good feeling of this Jew (Jesus) as she did not run away but remained starting her work at the well.

The attitude of Jesus

Reading Jesus saying “Give me a drink.”  you may interpret this as being said with severe voice and face expression as a command.

you must be aware that words alone does not say much. John does not share any visual nor sound information.

Because of Jesus emphasizing love and love your enemy,
I presume his voice and face expression was not signaling a severe military order. Nor must he have signaled the Jews view about Samaritans.

So let us go back to the text:

The Living water metaphore

4:10 “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

The woman obviously did not understand this stranger, so she answered respectfully with:

4.11 “Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. From where then have you that living water? Are you greater than our father, Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself, as did his children, and his livestock?”

Jesus answered her about the living water,

4:13 “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

Obsiously this woman felt respect in Jesus so she said to him:

4:15 “Sir, give me this water, so that I don’t get thirsty, neither come all the way here to draw.”

Now we begin to understand the purposes Jesus had

Jesus tests the woman by saying:

04:16 Go, call your husband, and come here.

As a good practicing Samaritan woman reading the Pentatheuch, the woman did follow the law “Do no lie” like many Jews did not.

04:17 The woman answered, I have no husband.”

So the Samaritans obviously are not the “lost people” as Jesus called them.

Jesus said to her, You said well, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands; and he whom you now have, is not your husband. This you have said truly.”

Thisfact may reveal why the Jews regard Samaritans as eretic

04:19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.”

About the Samaritan holy mountain Mount Gerizim

04:21 Jesus said to her,

“Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, will you worship the Father.
You worship that which you don’t know.
We worship that 
which we know; for salvation is from the Jews. (ed. Jesus and his disciples)
But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshippers
. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

04:25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah comes,”  “When he has come, he will declare to us all things.”

04:26 Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who speaks to you.

At this, his disciples came. They marveled that he was speaking with a woman; yet no one said, “What are you looking for?” or, “Why do you speak with her?”

The Samaritan woman left Jesus to let him talk with his disciples.

So the woman left her water pot, and went away into the city, and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything that I did. Can this be the Christ?”

Inhabitants of Sychar comes to Jesus

04:30 They went out of the city, and were coming to him. In the meanwhile, the disciples urged him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”

The food metaphore

04:32 But he said to them,

I have food to eat that you don’t know about.”

04:33 The disciples therefore said one to another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?”

04:34 Jesus said to them,

“My food is to  do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work.  Don’t you say, ‘There are yet four months until the harvest?’ Behold, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and look at the fields, that they are white for harvest already. He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit to eternal life; that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true, ‘One sows, and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you haven’t labored. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

Jesus stayed with The Sychar Samaritans  

04:39 From that city many of the Samaritans believed in him because of the word of the woman, who testified, “He told me everything that I did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of your speaking; for we have heard for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”

Jesus said later in Galilee,

“Unless you see signs and wonders,
you will in no way believe.”

The samaritans did not need any miracle to believe in him. His words and kerygma was enough.

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conclusion

I think that this part of John shares a important part of Jesus Kerygma.

it tells about

  • Jesus respect for women. As shown elsewhere.
  • Jesus’ good relation with the Samaritans
  • Jesus respecting the Samaritans despite being regarded as eretics at his time
  • where you pray (In Jerusalem our on mount Gerezim) that has no importance
  • God as spirit and praying in spirit
  • Jesus message about living water and food.
  • the Samaritans  that did not ask for signs.
  • a Samaritan women that for some reason had  several husbands
  • Ta samaritan women who were allowed to stay near jews men
  • Samaritan men who listened to women.
  • Samaritans becoming Christians.

Matthew 10:5-6 tells that Jesus said:

5 ‘Do not make your way to gentile territory, and do not enter any Samaritan town6 go instead to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.”

Jesus  obviously did order to avoid Samaria  because it was dangerous. I presume that it was because it was a waste of time as he wanted to convert Sinners and the Lost sheep of the House of Israel.” And he regarded the Samaritans to be good people as he referred to when talking about the good samaritan to a lawyer as described by Luke 10:25-37

Why Jew disciples?

I wonder why Jesus choosed Jews as disciples.  I presume it was because he was only  interested in talking with the “lost people of Israel”, the  Jews.

I he have had choosen Samaritan disciples

If he he had choosen Samaritans as disciples, his kerygma would maybe not have had the spreading it had. The Jews were at power in Israel and had a quite good relation with the Romans.

It is a pity because with the Samaritans we would not have had such  discrimination of women around in the world.

For humanity (men) to mature, the women had to suffer until today.

At the end, the Jews still today do not accept Jesus as their Messiah. And that may have contributed to the widespread antisemitism and maybe also to the holocaust.