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John 5 Jesus on the Sabbath: Life-Giver and Judge.

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Presentation on theme: "John 5 Jesus on the Sabbath: Life-Giver and Judge."— Presentation transcript:

1 John 5 Jesus on the Sabbath: Life-Giver and Judge

2 Broad Outline of Fourth Gospel Ch. 1Introduction: Prologue and Witness of John Ch. 2-12Jesus Before the World ("Book of Signs") Theme: Through signs and discourses, Jesus reveals himself as the Son of God, sent to save the world, but is rejected by the world. Ch. 2-4Images of New Salvation Ch. 5-10Growing hostility  Christological claims become more explicit.  “The Jews” become increasingly hostile.  Organized around Jewish festivals, which Jesus fulfills:  Sabbath (ch. 5)  Passover (ch. 6)  Tabernacles (ch. 7-8)  Hanukkah (ch. 9-10) Ch Final rejection Ch Jesus Before the Disciples ("Book of Passion/Glory") Ch. 21Appendix: Appearance in Galilee

3 Chapter 5 Jesus on the Sabbath: Life-Giver and Judge Sabbath 1.Set in Jerusalem during unspecified festival – also Sabbath. 2.Sabbath was 7 th day of rest – rooted in Creation story (even God rests on Sabbath). 3.Pharisees took very seriously – 39 categories of prohibited labor. 4.Rabbinic theology: Does God rest on Sabbath? Yes, but not entirely. a.God’s work as Creator ceases on Sabbath (Gen. 2:2-3). b.God’s work as Judge (providential care and rule over world) continues on Sabbath – as seen in fact that births and deaths occur on Sabbath. 5.Sabbath-observance was likely a key issue in friction between Johannine community and synagogue.

4 Third Sign: Healing a Lame Man (5:1-9) Jesus on the Sabbath: Life-Giver and Judge 1.Setting (v. 1-3) a. Pool by the Sheep Gate at Bethesda/Bethzatha/Bethsaida (v. 2). Pool by the Sheep Gate at Bethesda/Bethzatha/Bethsaida Pool by the Sheep Gate at Bethesda/Bethzatha/Bethsaida 1)Has been excavated – just north of temple. 2)Large public bath; surrounded by 4 porticos; divided by a fifth. b. Gathering place for sick hoping for a cure (v. 3). 1)V. 4 is later textual gloss; not in best manuscripts. 2)V. 7 seems to presuppose some such popular belief. 2.Description of illness (v. 5-7) a.Lame man has been ill 38 years. b.Jesus takes initiative – asks if he wants to be made well. c.Response seems hesitant – utter despair, hopelessness. 3.Cure: Command to stand, take mat, and walk (v. 8; cf. Mk. 2:9). 4.Demonstration (v. 9) a.The lame man takes up mat and walks—Jesus gives him back his life. b.Now we learn it was on Sabbath.

5 Controversy with “the Jews” (5:9-18) Jesus on the Sabbath: Life-Giver and Judge 1.“The Jews” confront the cured man (v. 9-13). a.Charge: violating Sabbath by carrying his mat. b.Man shifts blame to his healer but doesn’t know who it was. 2.Jesus finds the man in the Temple (v ). a.“Do not sin any more, so that nothing worse happens to you.” 1)Reflects trad. view of illness as punishment for sin (cf. Mk. 2:5, 9-11). 2)Existence of evil is due to sin in general, but we cannot assume direct connection between particular illnesses and particular sins. 3)Blind man’s condition is due neither to his sin nor to his parents’ (9:3). 4)Galileans slaughtered by Pilate and the 18 crushed by falling tower were not worse sinners than others (Lk. 13:1-5). b.There is an “illness” worse than paralysis – sin – with greater consequences – separation from God. c.Healed man tells “the Jews” it was Jesus who healed him.

6 Controversy with “the Jews” (5:9-18) Jesus on the Sabbath: Life-Giver and Judge 3.“The Jews” now persecute Jesus for violating Sabbath (v ). a.Jesus’ defense: “My Father is still working, and I also am working.” b.Rabbis: God’s work as Judge (providence) continues on Sabbath, as seen in births and deaths on Sabbath. c.Jesus’ work on Sabbath is same as God’s – Life-giver and Judge. d.Now “the Jews” seek to kill him.

7 Discourse on Jesus’ Authority (5:19-47) Jesus on the Sabbath: Life-Giver and Judge 1.Unity of Father and Son (v ). a.Son does only what the Father does. b.“Parable of the carpenter’s shop” (Dodd). c.“Functional unity”: do same works and deserve same honor. d.Jesus has no authority independent of God. e.His authority comes out of total dependence and submission – one with God in will and purpose (cf. v. 30). 2.Two works of Father are entrusted to Son (v ): a.Giving life – Jesus’ healings are signs of power to give eternal life. b.Pronouncing judgment – occurs in people’s response to Jesus. 3.Judgment, resurrection, and eternal life (v ). a.Realized eschatology (v ): resurrection, judgment, eternal life occur now by faith in Jesus. b.Future eschatology (v ): same themes in futuristic language; future consummation. c.Link between the two (v ): Son of Man who will come to judge confronts us now in Jesus.

8 Discourse on Jesus’ Authority (5:19-47) Jesus on the Sabbath: Life-Giver and Judge 4.Four witnesses to Jesus’ authority (v ). a.Note trial-like atmosphere – concerned with rules of valid testimony. b.Rabbinic tradition considered self-testimony and testimony of one witness invalid (Dt. 19:15). c.Jesus denies self-testimony, but claims four witnesses who testify on his behalf: 1)John the Baptist (v ) 2)Jesus’ works (v. 36) 3)The Father (v ) 4)Scripture (v ) d.Accusation of the accusers (v ).

9 Pool by Sheep Gate at Bethesda (Bethzatha)


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