One man's view of theology, sports, politics, and whatever else in life that happens to interest me. A little bit about me.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

TOMS: John 19

For an introduction to this series, click here.

May 18, 2007

This chapter tells the story of the Crucifixion. There's not a whole lot that can be said that hasn't already been said about the most important event in human history. And of course I have already commented on it three times.

I have always been struck by the irony of verse 12: "From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, 'If you release this man, you are not Caesar's friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.'" The Jews hated the Romans, and the Romans hated the Jews. The only reason the Romans were there was because Palestine was a strategic link between Asia Minor and Egypt, which were much more important priorities for Rome. For the Romans, Palestine was a dreadful place filled with delusional people. That's why about 40 years later the Romans got tired of them and destroyed Jerusalem and scattered the Jews all over the empire. The only time the Jews were interested in being a friend to Caesar was right here.

Another detail that John gives us, because he was there, is this tidbit: "When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, 'Woman, behold, your son!' Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother!' And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home." (19:26-27) This is rather shocking to me. We assume Joseph, Jesus' earthly father, was dead, since he is never mentioned in any of the Gospels during Jesus' adult life. But Jesus had at least three half-brothers who are mentioned in the Bible. Why didn't they look after their mother?  

I don't know, but this could explain why John is not mentioned much in the book of Acts. He would have been taking care of Mary (and presumably raising his own family) during the years that Peter and Paul were doing great exploits. It wasn't until much later, when John became the elder statesman and the last of the apostles that he writes his Gospel, epistles and of course the Revelation.

Another thing John mentions that no one else mentions is the role of Nicodemus in Jesus' burial: "After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight." (19:38-39, ESV)

This passage is the main reason I think Nicodemus was born again, either during his conversation with Jesus, part of which is recorded in John 3, or at some other time before this. Someone who is truly born again will eventually show some fruit, and here is Nicodemus, coming in at a time when even His disciples had forsaken Him, and buying spices to bury the body of Jesus.

No comments:

Post a Comment