Reflections on the lectionary readings by pastors, preachers, and biblical scholars
Photo by Mary Harrsch
Isaiah 52:13–53:12; Hebrews 4:14–16, 5:7–9; John 18:1–19:42
Aristotle writes that we would never go to the theater to see terrible things happen to a good man through no fault of his. Yet here we gather, aching for a good man’s sorrows and turning to him to make sense of our own.
John 13:1–17, 31b–35
John 13 begins with imminent betrayal, suffering, and death. Understandably, we envision the scene with somber images. But I wonder if we overlook Jesus’ joy.
This is a story of disappointed expectations, of what happens when someone you admire refuses to be who you think they should be.
The Jesus that John shows us in this week’s Gospel text is not a religious robot, unemotionally prepared to end it all for the cause. He sees the risks, feels them.
The binary world of John’s Gospel is well drawn in Jesus’ talk here, and unknowns frame the verse. How could a God of love condemn people? What does it mean to be in darkness?
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