david-william’s comments on v 19-24

main point

The innocence of Jesus and how the opposition are more concerned for respect for authority than with truth.

new light

It’s hard finding new light in familiar passages/stories. It seems very clear to me at least that opposition to the truth is coming from maintaining authority and position far more from a difference in opinion on what counts as truth. I guess that is “new” in the sense I had not noticed that emphasis here (but I had elsewhere).


An awful lot of what people in authority do is designed to protect — not the truth or the general welfare — but their own authority and position. But then so is an awful lot of what people with minimal authority do.


it changes how we approach differences of opinion doesn’t it — if one’s opponent on say — the peace testimony — or even we ourselves — have personal investment in the issue — what then?


and John the Evangelist is not himself exempt — he portrays the Jewish authorities as out of the truth and in it for their own mutual self-interest — but is that ALL that’s going on? Is not the gospel writer in a similar position — defending Christian faith against the big bad Jewish authorities?


3 responses

  1. It is a challenge to find new light in stuff that’s so familiar.You said … Is not the gospel writer in a similar position — defending Christian faith against the big bad Jewish authorities?But, they were the big bad authorities, weren’t they? Guys like Stephen were getting stoned to death, so maybe John had a right to be wary of them.

  2. I notice that Jesus’ response can be taken in two different ways, depending on the attitude of the listener. 1. The authorities take Jesus’ response as a refusal to answer, a deflection, and, as David notes, a defiance of their authority.2. But what I see here is Jesus’ complete willingness to put His fate in the hands of others. He isn’t going to try to explain himself; He is willing to trust that the people who heard him speak in the temples will accurately and truthfully repeat his words.More broadly, I see this as Jesus telling us that now it is in our hands — He has said what he had to say, and it is up to us to pass it on to others.

  3. “An awful lot of what people in authority do…… etc.”It’s this I want to comment on here, David. In fact I mean to blog on a related subject.Authority is to be questioned! We learned that in the sixties. A great deal of authority is false, phony, and pernicious– the kind that Jesus confronted in this scene. We quakers are supposed to speak truth to power.I certainly believe that’s one of the primary lessons that Jesus had for us.

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