JOHN 12: Jesus Messiah

By Stephen W. HiemstraCandle_perfume_rose_10172013

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey (Zechariah 9:9 ESV).

What kind of Messiah is Jesus?

Messiah is a Hebrew word that means anointed one.  John is the only New Testament author to use it and he equates it with the Greek word, Christ (John 1:41; 4:25).  Three offices were anointed:  prophets, priests, and kings.  Two events in John 12 point specifically to the interpretation that Jesus is a Messianic king:  his anointing by Mary (vv 1-8) and his entry into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey (vv 12-19).  Mary’s anointing of Jesus’ feet and Jesus’ choice of a donkey to ride into Jerusalem both point to humility—Jesus is a king coming in peace.

It is interesting that both events—the anointing and the entry into Jerusalem—appear in all four Gospel accounts.  But the Gospels disagree on  details of the anointing. John’s account, for example, is the only one to place Lazarus at the event and to name, Mary, as the woman anointing Jesus.  Mark and Matthew have Jesus anointed on the head; Luke and John have Jesus’ feet anointed.

All four Gospels have Jesus anointed by a woman—this is a shocking event for a Jewish king. The expectation is that a king is anointed by a prophet.  For example,  the Prophet Samuel anoints both King Saul and King David (1 Samuel 10:1, 16:13).

John 12 marks a transition from Jesus’ ministry into his arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection. The ESV translation suggests these divisions:  Mary anoints Jesus at Bethany (vv 1-8), the plot to kill Lazarus (vv 9-10), the triumphal entry (vv 12-19), some Greeks seek Jesus (vv 20-26), the Son of Man must be lifted up (vv 27-36), the unbelief of the people (vv 37-43), and Jesus came to save the world (vv 44-50).

The nature of Jesus’ messianic role clearly divides people in John 12.  Judas Iscariot disagrees with Jesus about the perfume used to anoint Jesus supposedly because of the cost.  But female anointment must also have weighed on his mind (vv 4-8)—Jews had trouble seeing Jesus as messiah.  The crowd that gathered at Bethany is clearly interested as much in Lazarus as in Jesus (v 9).  Lazarus must have  reminded them of 1 Kings 17:23 when Elijah raised a young man from the dead—a comparison suggesting a prophetic messiah.  By contrast, the crowd that gathered the morning waved palm branches and chanted words from Psalm 118:25 (hosanna means save us in Hebrew) suggesting that they expected a kingly messiah (v 13).

The appearance of gentiles (Greeks) in verses 20-26 curiously moves Jesus to remark:  The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified (v 23).  Jesus frequently mentions sheep in John’s Gospel, but in Matthew’s Gospel he twice says that:  I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew 15:24 also 10:6).  As Jesus enters Jerusalem, his mission to the lost sheep of Israel is drawing to a close.

QUESTIONS

  1. Where is Jesus; what is he doing; who is there? (vv 1-2)
  2. What does Mary do? What is the significance?  (v 3; Hint: 1 Samuel 10:1; 16:13)
  3. Why is Judas upset? What does he say?  (vv 4-7)
  4. How does Jesus respond? (v 8) Is his response a surprise? (Hint:  John 11:16)
  5. Is Jesus’ presence in Bethany a secret? (vv 9-11)  What is the response?
  6. What happens the next day? (vv 12-19)
  7. What do Jesus’ anointing and entry into Jerusalem have in common? (vv 3 and 15)
  8. What kinds of Messiahs are there in Judaism? (See reflection)
  9. Why is Jesus’ visit by Gentiles significant? (vv 20-23) (Hint:  why did Jesus say he came? (Mathew 15:24))
  10. What is Jesus’ role; what is the role of the disciple? (vv 24-27)
  11. Why is there an epiphany from heaven? (vv 28-32)  What is happening?  What does Jesus say?
  12. What question is asked by the crowd? (vv 32-37)  Why does Jesus hide?
  13. What does the analogy to light and darkness mean? (vv 35-36, 46-47)
  14. What is the purpose (and prophecy) of disbelief? (vv 37-43)
  15. What is the nature of judgment? (vv 47-50)

 

JOHN 12: Jesus Messiah

Also see:

JOHN 13: Foot Washing 

Vanhoozer: How Do We Understand the Bible? Part 1 

Roadmap of Simple Faith

Bothersome Gaps: Life in Tension

Christian Spirituality 

Looking Back 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter at:http://bit.ly/2018_Trans

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Juan 12: Jesús Mesías

Por Stephen W. Hiemstra Candle_perfume_rose_10172013

¡Alégrate mucho, hija de Sión! ¡Grita de alegría, hija de Jerusalén! Mira, tu rey viene hacia ti, justo, salvador y humilde. Viene montado en un asno, en un pollino, cría de asna (Zacarias 9:9 NVI).

¿Qué tipo de Mesías es Jesús?

Mesías es una palabra hebrea que significa ungido. Juan es el único autor del Nuevo Testamento para usarlo y lo compara con la palabra griega Cristo (Juan 1:41; 4:25). Tres oficinas fueron ungidos: profetas, sacerdotes, y reyes. Dos acontecimientos en Juan 12 puntos específicamente a la interpretación de que Jesús es un rey mesiánico: la unción de María (vv 1-8) y su entrada en Jerusalén, en la parte posterior de un burro (vv 12-19). María La unción de los pies de Jesús y Jesús ‘la elección de un asno para montar en Jerusalén ambos apuntan a la humildad—Jesús es un rey que viene en paz.

Es interesante que ambos eventos — la unción y la entrada en Jerusalén a aparecer en los cuatro Evangelios. Pero los evangelios no están de acuerdo sobre los detalles de la unción. El relato de Juan, por ejemplo, es la única que coloca a Lázaro en el evento y de nombrar, María, la mujer ungiendo a Jesús. Marcos y Mateo que Jesús ungido en la cabeza, Lucas y Juan tienen los pies de Jesús ungido.

Los cuatro Evangelios tienen Jesús ungido por una mujer, este es un evento impactante para un rey judío. La expectativa es que un rey ungido por el profeta. Por ejemplo , el profeta Samuel unge tanto el rey Saúl y del rey David (1 Samuel 10:1, 16:13).

John 12 marca una transición del ministerio de Jesús en su arresto, juicio, crucifixión y resurrección. La traducción ESV sugiere que estas divisiones: María unge a Jesús en Betania (vv 1-8), el complot para matar a Lázaro (vv 9-10), la entrada triunfal (vv 12-19), algunos griegos buscan a Jesús (vv 20-26), el Hijo del Hombre tiene que ser levantado (vv 27-36), la falta de fe del pueblo (vv. 37-43), y Jesús vino a salvar al mundo (vv 44-50).

La naturaleza del papel mesiánico de Jesús divide claramente a las personas en Juan 12. Judas Iscariote no está de acuerdo con Jesús sobre el perfume usado para ungir a Jesús, supuestamente debido al costo. Pero femenina y unción entierro también deben haber pesado en su mente (vv 4-8) — Judios tenía problemas para ver a Jesús como Mesías. La multitud que se reunió en Betania está claramente interesado tanto en Lázaro de Jesús (v 9). Lázaro debe haberles recordado 1 Reyes 17:23 cuando Elías se levantó un joven de entre los muertos – la comparación, lo que sugiere un Mesías profético. Por el contrario, la multitud que se reunió por la mañana hizo un gesto palmas y cantaba las palabras del Salmo 118:25 (hosanna significa salvarnos en hebreo), lo que sugiere que ellos esperaban un Mesías Rey (v 13) .

La aparición de los gentiles (los griegos) en los versículos 20-26, curiosamente mueve Jesús comenta: Ha llegado la hora de que el Hijo del hombre sea glorificado (v 23). Jesús menciona con frecuencia ovejas en el Evangelio de Juan, pero en el Evangelio de Mateo dice que en dos ocasiones: No fui enviado sino a las ovejas perdidas del pueblo de Israel (Mateo 15:24 también 10:6). Cuando Jesús entra en Jerusalén, su misión a las ovejas perdidas de Israel está llegando a su fin.

Juan 12: Jesús Mesías

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Schaefer Works Twitter; Brings Business Sense

Mark W. Schaefer. 2012.  The Tao of Twitter:  Changing Your Life and Business 140 Characters at a Time.  New York:  McGraw Hill. @markwschaeferSchaefer_book

Reviewed by Stephen W. Hiemstra

When I expressed interest in learning how to use social media more effectively, a friend quickly remarked:  whatever you do, don’t start Tweeting!  Probably the hardest part of learning to use Twitter has been to overcome the pre-conception that it’s used primarily by celebrity fans.  Mark Schaefer’s The Tau of Twitter has vanquished pre-conceptions and convinced me that Twitter is a business tool here to stay.

What is Twitter?  Twitter looks like a personalized wire service or  stock market price feed.  The limited space in a Tweet assures that only short messages are transmitted which means that it is easy to view many Tweets quickly.  For news junkies and market watchers, Twitter has to be addictive–it is more than a non-stop pajama party for fifteen year olds.

So what does Schaefer say about it?  The book is organized into seventeen chapters.  The introduction and first two chapters explain how Twitter can be used in business.  Chapter three examines Schaefer’s basic social media strategy (The Tao Explained).  Chapter four explains business benefits.  Chapters five to seven explore Schaefer’s strategy in more detail.  The remainder of the book covers advanced Twitter concepts.

Schaefer’s strategy in using social media revolves around three principles:  Targeted Connections, Meaningful Content, and Authentic HelpfulnessTargeted Connections means concentrate on following and be followed by people likely to find your business interesting.  This is just basic networking.  Schaefer talks a lot about his Twitter Tribe—a group of about 200 contacts who share your basic interests.  Meaningful Content means that you introduce information that is both helpful and interesting.  Most professionals today are specialists—talk about your area of expertise.  Authentic Helpfulness means that you express honest interest in what people are doing online.  Just pretend a colleague has walked in your office asking advice and you get the idea.

What makes Schaefer’s discussion interesting is how he mixes business and personal interests.  Several times he reminds the reader that “social media” begins with the word “social” or alternatively “P2P”—person to person.  People want to do business with people that they like being with.  For those of us who are not the life of the party, this whole discussion can be a bit intimidating—life in business causal—but the point is that networking is very personal.  Twitter is not a place to sell, but rather a place to establish relationships.

Schaefer’s The Tao of Twitter makes Twitter more inviting, more accessible for business professionals.  Baby boomers may be shocked to learn that real business gets done in Twitter.  Millennials may discover that business requires a different protocol than Twitter’s social side.  Still, this is not a how to book that will substitute for the help system in Twitter.  Professionals outside of the world of business may also need to tweak Schaefer’s rules of thumb to fit the ethos of their own fields.  Given those caveats, The Tao of Twitter is an authentically helpful book.

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Social Media Enhances Ministry

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Sharron Beg
Art by Sharron Beg

The Capital Christian Writers club (www.CapitalChristianWriters.org) meets bi-monthly in Fairfax, VA.  The September meeting focused on creating a blog.  While I came to the meeting to network, I left the meeting convinced that blogging would simplify online ministry.

I also left experiencing a bit of fear.

Yes. I have had a website forever.  Yes. I have different accounts—Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn—but I was clueless about how to use these accounts in ministry.  I opened a Facebook account when I started seminary and was invited to join a group online.  I opened a Twitter account just before the PCUSA’s General Assembly last year.  I have no clue how or when I opened the LinkedIn account.  The fear arose because I did not want to become famous online for reasons that only my kids would understand!

So I bought some books and started reading.  First, I set up a free blog on WordPress.com.  Second, I registered a web address to look a bit more sophisticated:  T2Pneuma.net.  This acronym is short for To Deuteron Pneuma or The Second Wind in English.  Third, I matched my Twitter account address to the blog (@T2Pneuma).  And, fourth, I also opened a matching Gmail email account:  T2Pneuma@gmail.com.  The basic idea is to create a simple online identity that can serve as a personal, brand image in cyberspace.

A blog offers several advantages over a website.  The first advantage is that it is requires no programming and automates most features.   My website (www.StephenWHiemstra.net) is built from scratch in Microsoft Word and offers no bells and whistles.  A second advantage is that a blog displays recent articles up front and that allows you to time when articles are posted.  A third advantage is that the blog allows readers to subscribe (or following) to the blog and receive an automatic email when you update the blog.  A final advantage  is that  blog keeps basic statistics on how many people visit the blog and which articles they read.  (My website service also keeps such statistics, but they are kept on a separate website).  Having traffic statistics is a big selling point with publishers.

WordPress.com also makes it easy to link with other social media.  When I post an article to the blog, the blog can automatically generate a small blurb with a link and post it in my Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts.  Facebook speaks primarily to your family and close friends; Twitter speaks directly to the under thirty crowd on the cell-phone; LinkedIn speaks into your office crowd presenting an evangelism opportunity not usually open during business hours.

All these features offer hope that I can migrate my email mailing lists to the blog over the coming weeks.

So what is my writing project?  My book is entitled:  A Christian Guide to Spirituality.  It consists of 50 apologetic devotionals focused on the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Apostle’s Creed.  Learn more by visiting–T2Pneuma.net—and clicking on the menu title called:  Guide.  The book is currently under review and I am looking for a publisher.

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To subscribe to my blog (www.T2Pneuma.net), pull it up in your browser.  At the bottom right corner, you will see a button entitled:  FOLLOW.  Click it and enter your email address in the box.  My blog will send an email to you at that address.  Be sure to confirm that email when it arrives.

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JOHN 11: Raising of Lazarus

By Stephen W. Hiemstra Jumping

I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die (John 11:25-26 ESV).

One big anxiety that amputees experience is that lost body parts embody their identity in ways that must now change. The pain is particularly acute when the body part is associated with a beloved activity. Our hearts go out, for example, to the runner that loses a leg or the brilliant researcher who develops Alzheimer’s disease.  Our body is part of our identity.

God knows who we are and feels our pain—to be human is to be whole in body, mind, and spirit.

Jesus raised the widow’s son out of compassion (Luke 7:13) and he wept before raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:35).  How compassionate would Jesus have been if he had raised the widow’s son from the dead only to have the son live on as a paraplegic?  Or if Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead but left him mentally handicapped?

During my time as a chaplain intern, I knew a dear woman who had been resuscitated after her heart stopped for eight minutes.  The resuscitation left her afflicted with dementia and forced to live in a lock-down, Alzheimer’s unit.  The affliction left her family guilt ridden and torn over their decision to resuscitate her.

The point of this story is that resuscitation leaves scars.  Scripture reports that the widow’s son and Lazarus were returned to health without scars.  Consequently, Jesus did not resuscitate them; he re-created them as only God can.

Resurrection is an act of grace—bodily resurrection completes the compassion.

Jesus was bodily resurrected.  When the resurrected Christ appeared before the disciples in Jerusalem, he was hungry; the disciples gave him a piece of broiled fish and he ate it (Luke 24:41-43).  Furthermore, Christ’s compassion for his own disciples, who had deserted him, suggesting that Jesus did not harbor the deep emotional scars that might normally accompany the trauma that he experienced (John 21:17).

Consider the alternative.  What if Jesus had been raised only spiritually, how long would he continue to empathize with fleshly humans?  Or what if Jesus harbored some grievous handicap or emotional scares?  Would he still have pity on the rest of us?  Would we really want to stand before such a scarred and potentially vengeful judge?

Bodily resurrection is re-creation, not resuscitation.  It gives us hope because our judge is healthy and whole—still human—and he still loves us.

QUESTIONS

  1. Who is Lazarus? (vv 1-2)
  2. What was wrong with Lazarus?
  3. Where was Jesus when he heard about it? (John 10:40)
  4. How did Jesus respond? Why?
  5. When Jesus told the disciples that he was returning to Judea, how did they respond? (vv 7-16)
  6. What was the confusion? Why was it interesting? (vv 11-14)
  7. What was interesting about Thomas’ statement? (v 16)
  8. How long was Lazarus dead and buried when Jesus arrived? (v 17) Why is it important to our understanding of this sequence of events?
  9. Where is Bethany? (v 18) Why is the location important? (v 19)
  10. Who went out to meet Jesus? (v 20) What does this suggest?
  11. What does Martha believe about resurrection and about Jesus? (vv 21-24)
  12. What does Jesus tell her? (vv 25-27) What is Martha’s response?
  13. What is Mary’s response when Jesus arrives? (vv 28-32)
  14. How does Jesus respond to Mary? (vv 33-35)
  15. What do the Jews present say? (vv 36-37)
  16. What does Jesus do then? (vv 38-43) What is his prayer?  What does it indicate?
  17. What is Lazarus’ response? (v 44)
  18. How do the Jews respond to Lazarus’ resurrection? (vv 45-46)
  19. What do the Pharisees and chief priest’s worry about? (vv 47-48)
  20. What does Caiaphas say? What is the implication? (vv 49-53, 55-57)
  21. How does Jesus respond to all this? (vv 54-55)

 

JOHN 11: Raising of Lazarus

Also see:

JOHN 12: Jesus Messiah

Vanhoozer: How Do We Understand the Bible? Part 1 

Roadmap of Simple Faith

Bothersome Gaps: Life in Tension

Christian Spirituality 

Looking Back 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter at:http://bit.ly/2018_Trans

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Juan 11: Aumento de Lazarus

Por Stephen W. HiemstraJumping

Yo soy la resurrección y la vida. El que cree en mí vivirá, aunque muera; y todo el que vive y cree en mí no morirá jamás (Juan 11:25-26 NVI).

Una gran ansiedad que experimentan amputados es que las partes del cuerpo perdidas encarnan su identidad de manera que ahora deben cambiar. El dolor es particularmente agudo cuando la parte del cuerpo está asociada con una actividad amada. Nuestros corazones están, por ejemplo, para el corredor que pierde una pierna o el brillante investigador que desarrolla la enfermedad de Alzheimer. Nuestro cuerpo es parte de nuestra identidad.

Dios sabe lo que somos y siente nuestro dolor—ser humano es ser todo en cuerpo, mente y espíritu.

Jesús resucitó al hijo de la viuda de la compasión (Lucas 7:13), y lloró antes de levantar a Lázaro de entre los muertos (Juan 11:35). Cómo compasivo Jesús habría sido si se hubiera levantado el hijo de la viuda de la muerte sólo para que el hijo vive con un parapléjico? O si Jesús resucitó a Lázaro de entre los muertos, pero lo dejó discapacitado mental?

Durante mi tiempo como pasante capellán, conocí a una mujer querida que había sido resucitado después de que su corazón se detuvo durante ocho minutos. La reanimación le provocó la demencia y la obligó a vivir en una unidad de Alzheimer bloqueado. La aflicción dejó su culpabilidad familiar montado y desgarrado sobre su decisión de resucitarla.

El punto de esta historia es que la reanimación deja cicatrices. Informa de la Escritura que el hijo de la viuda y Lázaro fueron devueltos a la salud sin cicatrices. Por lo tanto, Jesús no resucitar ellos, él los vuelve a crear como sólo Dios puede.

La resurrección es un hecho de la resurrección de gracia corporal completa la compasión.

Jesús resucitó corporalmente. Cuando el Cristo resucitado apareció ante los discípulos en Jerusalén, tuvo hambre, y los discípulos le dieron un pedazo de pescado asado y lo comió (Lucas 24:41-43). Por otra parte, la compasión de Cristo por sus discípulos, que lo había abandonado, lo que sugiere que Jesús no albergan las profundas cicatrices emocionales que normalmente acompañan el trauma que experimentó (Juan 21:17).

Considere la posibilidad de la alternativa. ¿Qué pasaría si Jesús había resucitado sólo espiritualmente, ¿cuánto tiempo se seguirá para empatizar con los seres humanos carnales? ¿O qué si Jesús albergaba alguna discapacidad grave o sobresaltos emocionales? ¿Seguiría ten piedad de todos nosotros? ¿Seríamos realmente quiere estar delante de un juez como cicatrices y potencialmente vengativo?

Resurrección corporal es re – creación, no reanimación. Nos da esperanza porque nuestro juez es sano y entero sigue siendo humano, y todavía nos ama.

Juan 11: Aumento de Lazarus

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Boletín de autor: http://bit.ly/Advent_Mas_2018

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Tverberg Adds Context; Brings NT to Life

Lois Tverberg. 2012.  Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewish Words of Jesus Can Change Your Life.  Grand Rapids:  Zondervan.Lois_Tverberg_10062013

Reviewed by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Much like language itself, the stories we read in the Bible are laconic–they do not tell us everything that we would like to know. The Bible’s laconic stories speak into life in many contexts with meaning and power. Understanding their original meaning can, however, be difficult without detailed knowledge about their original context. Lois Tverberg’s new book, Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus, explores Jesus’ original context through a study of Jewish thought, both in the Hebrew Bible and other Jewish writings (29).

Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus is organized into three sections: (1) Hearing Our Rabbi’s Words, (2) Living Out the Words of Rabbi Jesus, and (3) Studying the Word with Rabbi Jesus. Chapters are brief and accessible enough to use devotionally. The chapters end in questions that can be used for small group discussion. Tverberg’s writing style is as engaging as her content is deep.

In chapter 2, for example, Tverberg focuses on Jesus’ interpretation of the Shema. We know it as the great or double-love commandment (Matthew 2:35-43).  Love God; love neighbor. Hebrew, Tverberg reminds us, is word poor and meaning rich. In Hebrew, Shema means both to hear and obey. The Jewish version of the Shema, which has been recited daily since before the first century, as a prayer is found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. The second part of Jesus’ Shema (love of neighbor) is, however, found in Leviticus 19:18. The Hebrew understanding of love is covered in chapter 3 and the Hebrew understanding of neighbor is covered in chapter 4. If you really want to understand the parable of the Good Samaritan, Tverberg intimates, read 2 Chronicles 28:1-15.

As a seminarian, I was amazed how accessible Tverberg made matters of faith that I struggled to learn over the past several years. Citing Abraham Herschel, Tverberg writes: The issue of prayer is not prayer; the issue of prayer is God.  How you pray reveals what you believe about God (125). Until I understood this, my prayers were simply random words. I read Herschel, but I understood Tverberg.

Tverberg understands Jesus not only as Messiah, but as one steeped in Jewish wisdom. Confronted with two commandments in tension, which one do you obey?

Who might want to read Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus? This is an excellent text for devotions and for small group discussion. Pastors will find a number of chapters that will preach. Seminary students might find it an interesting introduction to Hebrew thinking. Any Christian serious about understanding their faith will enjoy and benefit from this book.

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JOHN 10: Good and Bad Shepherds

TOSHIBA Exif JPEG

Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord GOD: Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? (Ezekiel 34:2 ESV).

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

What is your favorite scripture passage?

One of the most beloved scripture passages begins:  The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters (Psalm 23:1-2).  Another favorite passage is Jesus’ parable about the lost sheep (Luke 15:4-7).

We love stories about good shepherds precisely because we have lots more experience with bad ones.  Just think about the current federal government shutdown (2013). Bad shepherds were also the norm in Jesus’ time.

Jesus’ story of the good shepherd pictures three elements:  a door, a shepherd, and sheep (John 10:1-6).

The door image here is of a sheep pen with a single entrance gate or door where the sheep belonging to an entire village might be kept at night.  The gatekeeper might be a local teenager (v 3).

A good shepherd enters by the door (v 2).  Thieves might try to sneak over the fence but the shepherd enters by the front door (v 1).  The good shepherd also loves the sheep and they love him.  Jesus says:  I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep (vv 14-15).  Hired shepherds lack this love and run away when wolves attack the sheep (vv 12-13).

Sheep scare easily (v 5).  For this reason, Middle Eastern shepherds talk, sing, and play music for their sheep to calm them down and to lead them.  Consequently, the sheep do not need to be sorted in the morning—the shepherd just calls their sheep and they come (v 4).

The context before and after the story of the good shepherd discloses the tension between good and bad shepherds.  Sheep recognize good shepherds.  The man born blind in John 9 recognizes Jesus and comes to faith.  Bad shepherds show up in John10:19 where Jesus enters into a nasty debate with Jewish leaders.

The timing of this debate reinforces the chapter focus on bad shepherds.  The healing of the blind man occurred during the feast of Tabernacles (or booths, John 7:1), while the shepherd discussion takes place during the feast of Dedication (Hanukkah; v 22).  Hanukkah commemorates the re-dedication of the temple by Judas Maccabees in 165 BC.  Previously, the Maccabees led a rebellion against the Hellenization of Israel and desecration of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanies—a very bad shepherd!  While we might read this chapter in light of Psalm 23 (good shepherd), John’s context suggests that this story is better read in light of Ezekiel 34 (bad shepherd).

We are not to despair being a sheep living in a world of bad shepherds.  Jesus says:  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand (vv 27-28).

Our obligation is to follow the good shepherd; our reward is eternal life.

Questions

  1. What is your favorite scripture passage? Why?
  2. Many people say Psalm 23 is their favorite scripture passage. What is the image of a shepherd?
  3. What is the image of a shepherd in Ezekiel 34:2?
  4. What image of a shepherd do we see in John 10:1-18?
  5. Three images are given in John 10:1-18: the door, the shepherd, and sheep.  What do they refer to?
  6. Who is the gatekeeper? Who is a thief?  How are the hired workers different?
  7. What is the context of Jesus’ image of the shepherd? What do we learn from John 9?  What about John 10:19-21?
  8. Why does Jesus say: I am the good shepherd?  (v 14).
  9. Why is the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah, v 22) a clue to interpreting this section on shepherds? (Hint: see reflection).
  10. What is the controversy in the verses 22-42? Why do the Jews want to stone Jesus?(v 33)
  11. How does Jesus use the image of the good shepherd in this section? (vv 26-28)
  12. What is the source of our consolation in Christ? (vv 28-30)
  13. Where does this chapter end? (v 40)

JOHN 10: Good and Bad Shepherds

Also see:

JOHN 11: Raising of Lazarus 

Vanhoozer: How Do We Understand the Bible? Part 1 

Roadmap of Simple Faith

Bothersome Gaps: Life in Tension

Christian Spirituality 

Looking Back 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter at:http://bit.ly/2018_Trans

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Juan 10: Buenos y Malos Pastores

Good Shepherd ImagePor Stephen W. Hiemstra

Hijo de hombre, profetiza contra los pastores de Israel; profetiza y adviérteles que así dice el Señor omnipotente: “¡Ay de ustedes, pastores de Israel, que tan sólo se cuidan a sí mismos! ¿Acaso los pastores no deben cuidar al rebaño? (Ezequiel 34:2 NVI)

¿Cuál es tu pasaje bíblico favorito?

Salmo 23

Uno de los pasajes de las Escrituras más queridos comienza así: El Senior es mi pastor, nada me falta; en verdes pastos me hace descansar. Junto a tranquilas aguas me conduce (Salmo 23:1-2). Otro pasaje favorito es la parábola de Jesús acerca de la oveja perdida (Lucas 15:4-7).

Nos encantan las historias de buenos pastores, precisamente porque tenemos mucha más experiencia con los malos. Basta con pensar en la corriente de cierre del gobierno federal. Malos pastores también fueron la norma en el tiempo de Jesús.

Imágenes Pastoral

La historia de Jesús de las buenas imágenes pastor tres elementos: una puerta, un pastor, y las ovejas (Juan 10:1-6).

La Puerta

Aquí, la imagen es la puerta de un corral de ovejas con una sola puerta de entrada o puerta donde las ovejas que pertenecen a un pueblo entero podría ser mantenido por la noche. El portero podría ser un adolescente local (v 3).

El Buen Pastor

Un buen pastor entra por la puerta (v 2). Los ladrones podrían tratar de colarse a través de la valla, pero el pastor entra por la puerta principal (v 1). El buen pastor también ama a las ovejas y que le aman. Jesús dice: Yo soy el buen pastor; conozco a mis ovejas, y ellas me conocen a mí, así como el Padre me conoce a mí y yo lo conozco a él, y doy mi vida por las ovejas (vv 14-15). Pastores contratados carecen de este amor y huyen cuando los lobos atacan a las ovejas (vv 12-13).

Las Ovejas

Ovejas susto fácil (v 5). Por esta razón, Oriente Medio pastores hablar, cantar y tocar música para sus ovejas para calmarlos y para guiarlos. En consecuencia, las ovejas no necesitan ser ordenados en la mañana – el pastor sólo llama a sus ovejas y vienen (v 4).

El contexto antes y después de la historia del buen pastor da a conocer la tensión entre buenos y malos pastores. Las ovejas reconocen buenos pastores. El hombre que nació ciego en Juan 9 reconoce a Jesús y viene a la fe. Malos pastores aparecen en Juan 10:19, donde Jesús entra en un debate desagradable con los líderes judíos.

El Contexto y Ezequiel 34

El calendario de este debate refuerza el capítulo de atención a los malos pastores. La curación del ciego se produjo durante la fiesta de los Tabernáculos (Juan 7:1), mientras que la discusión pastor lleva a cabo durante la fiesta de la Dedicación (Hanukkah; v 22). Hanukkah conmemora la dedicación nueva del templo por los Macabeos Judas en 165 antes de Cristo. Anteriormente, los Macabeos lideraron una rebelión contra la helenización de Israel y la profanación del templo por Antíoco Epífanes — un muy mal pastor!  Aunque podríamos leer este capítulo a la luz del Salmo 23 (buen pastor), el contexto de Juan sugiere que esta historia es más leer a la luz de Ezequiel 34 (mal pastor).

Malos y Buenos Pastores

No estamos a la desesperación de ser una oveja que vive en un mundo de malos pastores. Jesús dijo: Mis ovejas oyen mi voz; yo las conozco y ellas me siguen. Yo les doy vida eterna, y nunca perecerán, ni nadie podrá arrebatármelas de la mano (vv 27-28).  Nuestra obligación es seguir el buen pastor; nuestra recompensa es la vida eterna.

Juan 10: Buenos y Malos Pastores

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Sitio del autor: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Sitio del publicador: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Boletín de autor: http://bit.ly/Advent_Mas_2018

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Gabriel Models Virtue; Speaks Worlds

Stephen Gabriel.  2011.  Speaking to the Heart:  A Father’s Guide to Growth in Gabriel_10012013Virtue.  Falls Church:  Moorings Press.

Reviewed by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Virtue.  That to which we hold ourselves accountable to.  Or not.  If your forehead were a billboard, what objectives would be written there?  Stephen Gabriel’s book, Speaking to the Heart, is a book that I wish that I might have written at a younger age.

Speaking to the Heart is a book for fathers written by a father (11).  Gabriel’s focus on virtues arises from the desire to be an intentional father who can assist his children in navigating the turbulence of life (12).  For those of us uncomfortable with the subject of virtues, Gabriel advises—pay attention to your discomfort because it points in the direction of wisdom (14).

The book is organized around 20 virtues starting with the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love (charity).  These 20 chapters are introduced with an introduction and followed with a conclusion.  Each of the 20 chapters begins with a scripture passage and a famous quote.  The virtue is then defined in a single page.  This definition is then followed by a two page discussion entitled:  “Considerations for Growth in the Virtue of XXX”.

Chapter 7, for example, focuses on temperance.  The scripture passage is 1 Corinthians 9:25-27 which begins:  “All the fighters at the games go into strict training…”  He then cites Robert Burton:  “Temperance is a bridle of gold.”  Gabriel writes:  “Temperance is evidenced by a sense of moderation and restraint in the exercise of our appetites.”  First among the considerations for growth cited is:  “I reflect on how I seek my happiness and fulfillment”.  Another gem is:  “I am more attentive to the people I am with than to the food and drink.”

Gabriel’s Speaking to the Heart oozes authenticity.  What gives the book authenticity is not the author’s professional background, expertise in ethics, or ability to turn a phrase. Gabriel is not an obvious candidate to take up the pen here. Gabriel’s authenticity arises because he promises publically to model virtue as a father and outlines what that looks like.  In a postmodern world devoid of adults, that takes guts.  You want to be a good parent?  Model virtue.

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