david’s responses

1. What is the author’s main point in this passage? (MAIN POINT)

The time is coming when the disciples of Jesus (us?) will be able to pray on Christ’s authority (in his name) and God (“the Father”) will hear those prayers and respond to them as if Jesus himself had uttered them, for Jesus’ sake, and because of the love the disciples have for Jesus.

2. What new light do I find in this particular reading of this passage of the text? (NEW LIGHT)

What struck me and I had not noticed before was the line:
I do not say that I shall pray to the Father for you, because the Father himself loves you for loving me, and believing that I came from God.
A genuine transfer of spiritual authority appears to be taking place here.

3. Is this passage true to my experience? (TRUTH)

As I have said before — I cannot bear witness to this truth in my life. Sometimes — in moments — like flashes of lightning on distant horizons. But not consistently. Nor often.

4. How does this passage agree with or differ from the beliefs or practices of other religious groups in my experience? (OTHERS)

There are groups which seem to bear witness to answered prayer often and consistently. This troubles me as they are groups that seem unspiritual in most other aspects of their faith and practice — though I have met folks of deep and abiding faith amongst them — so I must not judge too harshly. These are groups — too use the biblical language — strong in gifts and lacking fruits. Even though as I said I have known fruit-filled people amongst them.

5. What are the implications of this passage for my life? (IMPLICATIONS)

John’s Jesus tells me — nay — promises me that I can expect petitionary prayer to find an audience with God if I but trust in Jesus and believe he was sent by God. Surely the implication is to begin praying on that basis — or to walk away from the witness of John’s gospel.

6. What problems do I have with this passage? (PROBLEMS)

Many. Mostly in the implications and in the others questions above.

4 responses

  1. David,Why the all or nothing: “Surely the implication is to begin praying on that basis — or to walk away from the witness of John’s gospel.”If I took this all or nothing approach I would have been outa here a long time ago! Personnaly I have found so much beauty in this gospel; I am so glad to have had this opportunity to reflect on these scriptures. Thankfully, I don’t feel the need to believe it all.I was talking with my long time friend the other day about her separation from her Catholic church. She said “I just can’t buy it all anymore.” I wondered, do you have to? She said she did -“It’s all or nothing.” Where does this thinking come from? How is it helpful? Does it place us in closer union with God to take an all or nothing approach? (Rhetorical question…)

  2. For my the word implication is a word about logic and logic is a very mechanistic either/or kinda critter. Do I utterly reject the gospel of John. By no means. But I’m confronted with the logical implication. Either this witness is sound or it is not. And so I have to live with that.Fortunately I have a high tolerance for ambiguity.

  3. I understand David’s point, but I want to elaborate on this ‘all or nothing’. In my experience it generally boils down to ‘either-or’. I get the impression that so many people don’t seem able to tolerate ambiguity. Very few things are either or (I’m either breathing or I’m not). Most things are both-and.”Everything possible to be believed is an image of truth” (Blake)

  4. “..about logic…” This brings reading scripture into a purely intellectual endeavor. Although this is an interesting and rather academic way to read scripture, I would say that if we were to only evaluate scripture intellectually, we would miss the real treasures within the text, which are beautiful messages surely intended for the heart.

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