david’s responses

Truly a lot going on here.

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

I see a metaphysic being set up here — we stand in relation to Christ as Christ stands to God. We stand before God by standing in Christ. There’s a kind of domino effect here. God > Christ > disciples > disciples of the disciples

Can we make the next move? disciples of the disciples > world?

Not on this passage alone — but elsewhere in scripture I think we can. In the end — Jesus is leaving this world for the glory he had before the world began we now are in the world in the way he was and draw upon God’s grace in the way that Christ did. We are Christ in this world.

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

This is one of those passages that is so part of our faith heritage that it is hard for me to read it as if for the first time. On this reading at least I have no new light.

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

I’m not even sure what it would mean for this passage to be true to my experience. It is talking about invisible things — about stuff hiding behind our experience as it were. This is about interpreting the meaning of our experience.

I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one.

The either/or of this passage is not true to my experience. When the world has hated me I’m not so sure it has been because I have been faithful. And I’m not altogether sure I do not belong to this world. I think both God and the world each have their hooks in me.

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

I do not have to be afraid of what the world can do to me if I am only faithful to the what Christ has revealed to me and in me. Easier to say than to put into practice.

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

This is my major problem with this passage:

I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled.

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6 responses

  1. Just a quick note to thank you for the invitation… before I turn my brain on…:)lor

  2. David,I completely missed that part about the one destined to be lost. I often wonder if such phrases were “added” by subsequent followers since it seems so contrary to Jesus’ entire message (think of the 1 lost sheep out of 100)!I also agree that this passage was tough for me, too because it was often used in the fundamentalist church to support their position while condemning other Christian groups. Blech! Nonetheless, the Friendly Bible study really helps me to manage that initial interpretation better than if I did it just on my own.

  3. I suspect they are add ins. The one destined to be lost is Judas Iscariot of course. And John seems to have a definite dislike for the poor bloke. And it seems especially important that Judas’ crime was destined from the foundation of the world.

  4. David,Your response here reminded me of a saying that is repeated in Quaker circles – “be of the world but do not belong to it” or somthing on that order. I have always had trouble fully comprehending this – but I think you are alluding to this notion here. To me, it means in part that the world is where you live, work, and play out your life. It includes the material world, and all the preoccupations that separate us from God. This quote is reminding us that this preoccupied life is only the outer shell of our existence. We belong to something much greater than our smallness. We belong to God. You write, “And I’m not altogether sure I do not belong to this world. I think both God and the world each have their hooks in me.”I am wondering how it is that we could separate God and the world? Seems to me that everything of the world is also of God. If so, then you are right – both God and the world have hooks in you – the very same hook! However, the crucial question is, “Where are you placing your precious attention?”

  5. David, but of course the story of Judas the traitor appears in all four of the gospels.We do have to wonder what it may mean. One likely theory is the O.T. passages concerning a betrayer.In John 13:18 Jesus mentioned this and connected it to Psalm 41:9:but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.

  6. Hi David. I noticed a difference in translation between your version and mine (NAB) in that line you quoted …I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. Mine says … except the son of destruction… don’t know if that has any significance. What about that line do you find problems with and what makes you think it was added later?

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