Ebenezers, Benchmarks, and Transitions in 2013

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Art by Sharron Beg
Art by Sharron Beg

How will you remember 2013?

Did you watch the corn grow in 2013 or did God break into your life in ways that will change you forever? The Greeks had two words for time which capture this distinction: chronos time and kairos time.

Chronos time is clock time. It is often associated with the Goya painting of Saturn eating his son—a grotesque reminder that each minute on the watch can only be enjoyed during the minute and then it is gone. In chronos time, the corn grows and we watch.

By contrast, kairos time is decision time. When God steps into our lives from outside of time, we experience His presence as crisis. We are changed forever. We are forced to answer the question—who are you, really? This is the experience of God that we read about in Paul when he says: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2 ESV). In kairos time, we grow and God becomes real.

I will always remember 2013 as the year that I graduated from seminary. For 5 years, I worked towards the goal of graduating seminary before my 60th birthday. I passed that benchmark this month. My diploma now hangs on the wall in my office—a kind of metaphorical Ebenezer (a pile of stones erected to God)[1].

School is a transition with a beginning (how you got admitted), a middle (all the classes, experiences, and uncertainties), and an ending (graduation). Looking back, I am not sure which stage in the transition was most stressful!

Other transitions that I will remember include—seeing family members grow, witnessing my first death, preaching my first emotional sermon (http://bit.ly/1eQEqbn), writing my first book (http://bit.ly/1fVF6c9), developing the social side of social media (e.g. http://bit.ly/19ROE26), and first appreciation Christmas. Of these, appreciation Christmas was probably the most meaningful.

At the Hiemstra Christmas party this year, we got everyone in a room together and shared. The usual fare was been to share things like—what are you most thankful for? Or, what was your most memorable Christmas memory? However, this year I proposed that we go around the room and take turns being appreciated. When it is your turn, everyone else in the room takes a turn telling you why they appreciate you. People really got into this—we spent about two hours appreciating one another. This exercise only works for groups that really know one another, but for these groups it can be a really healing experience [2]. I will never forget.

Return tomorrow to view my Top 10 Postings in 2013.

Thank you for supporting this online ministry.

Happy New Year!

1/ Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, Till now the LORD has helped us (1Samuel 7:12 ESV).

2/ I owe this idea to my Clinical Pastoral Education instructor, Jan Humphreys (http://bit.ly/19zhgPb).

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JOHN 21: From Fish to Sheep

fish_12232013Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men and women (Matthew 4:19).

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

When I worked in the hospital with psychiatric patients, I met a man with a huge Bible. When we spoke, he opened up this Bible and showed me the many color photographs. When he spoke with the other patients, they ridiculed him for his lessons which he had never applied to his own life. He fashioned himself as a fisherman, but he was no shepherd.

John 21 tells the story of the disciples going fishing on the Sea of Tiberius, but catching nothing all night long. In the morning, a man on the beach advises them to try again, but on the other side of the boat. When they do, they are overwhelmed with fish. At that point, they recognize that the man on the beach is Jesus.

After Jesus offers the disciples breakfast on the beach, he asks Peter a pointed question three times. He said: Simon, son of John, do you love me? He said to him, Yes, Lord; you know that I love you. He said to him, Tend my sheep (v 16). Because Peter had denied him three times on the night of his arrest, the three-fold question and response served to restore Peter to relationship with Jesus and leadership among the disciples. Both events took place in front of a charcoal fire (John 18:18; 21:9)

In Matthew 4:19, Jesus promises that if the disciples follow him, then he will make them fishers of men and women. Now, Jesus is asking Peter—and us—to give up fishing and become a shepherd. A fisherman catches fish with nets and hooks, but a shepherd feeds and protects sheep. This is a story about Christian leadership—the English word, pastor, originally meant shepherd.

The story continues. Jesus goes on to prophesy Peter’s death by crucifixion (v 18). At this point Peter’s rivalry with John rises to the surface. Peter asks: Lord, what about this man? (v 21) At this point, Jesus rebukes Peter: what is that to you? You follow me! (v 22) In other words, as Christian leaders we are to lead out of obedience to Christ, not rivalry with one another.

It is interesting that three of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and John) end with the disciples being given new responsibilities for evangelism. Matthews ends with the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20); Mark ends with the disciples preaching everywhere and performing miracles (signs); John ends with a lesson on Christian leadership. Only in Luke do the disciples simply hang around the church. However, Luke is like an extended preface to the Book of Acts (also written by Luke) where virtually the entire book is about early church evangelism and the work of the Holy Spirit.

The Gospel of John is not bashful about describing its objective.  John writes: these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name (John 20:31).  My prayer is that his objective is accomplished.

QUESTIONS

  1. When and where does this chapter begin? Who is present? (vv 1-2)
  2. What were the disciples doing? Why? (v 3)  Were they successful?
  3. How does Jesus reveal himself to the disciples?(vv 4-6)
  4. Who recognized him first? (v 7) How?  How does Peter react?
  5. What does Jesus do for them? (vv 8-12)
  6. What two things does this breakfast menu bring to mind? (v 9; Hints: John 6:11; 18:18)
  7. What does Jesus ask Peter three times? (vv 15-17)Why is it significant?  What is the lesson?
  8. What does Jesus prophesy? (vv 18-19) What is the significance?
  9. Why does Peter ask Jesus about John? What is the response?  (vv 20-23) Why do we care?

10.Who wrote this gospel?  (vv 24-25)

 

JOHN 21: From Fish to Sheep

Also see:

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 21: De Pescado a Ovejas

fish_12232013Por Stephen W. Hiemstra

Vengan, síganme —les dijo Jesús—, y los haré pescadores de hombres y mujeres (Mateo 4:19)

Cuando trabajaba en el hospital con pacientes psiquiátricos, conocí a un hombre con una enorme Biblia. Cuando hablamos, él abrió la Biblia y me mostró las numerosas fotografías en color. Cuando habló con los otros pacientes, que se burlaban de él por sus lecciones que nunca se había aplicado a su propia vida. Él formó a sí mismo como un pescador, pero no era un pastor de ovejas.

Juan 21 cuenta la historia de los discípulos de ir de pesca en el Mar de Tiberio, pero sin pescar nada durante toda la noche. Por la mañana, un hombre en la playa les aconseja que intentarlo de nuevo, pero por el otro lado de la embarcación. Cuando lo hacen, se sienten abrumados con el pescado. En ese punto, reconocen que el hombre en la playa es Jesús.

Después de que Jesús ofrece a los discípulos el desayuno en la playa, le pide a Peter una pregunta directa tres veces. Él dijo: Simón, hijo de Juan, ¿me amas? —Sí, Señor, tú sabes que te quiero. —Cuida de mis ovejas (v 16). Debido a que Pedro lo había negado tres veces en la noche de su arresto, la pregunta tres veces y la respuesta sirven para restaurar Peter a la relación con Jesús y el liderazgo entre los discípulos. Ambos eventos tuvieron lugar en frente de un fuego de carbón (Juan 18:18; 21:09)

En Mateo 4:19, Jesús promete que si los discípulos lo siguen, entonces él los hará pescadores de hombres y mujeres. Ahora, Jesús está pidiendo a Pedro, ya nosotros, a abandonar la pesca y llegar a ser un pastor. Un pescador captura peces con redes y anzuelos, pero un pastor alimenta y protege a las ovejas. Esta es una historia sobre el liderazgo en el Cristianismo—la palabra, pastor, originalmente significaba pastor de ovejas.

La historia continúa. Jesús va a profetizar la muerte por crucifixion de Pedro (v 18). En este punto, la rivalidad de Pedro con Juan sube a la superficie. Pedro le pregunta: Señor, ¿qué pasa con este hombre? (v 21) En este punto, Jesús reprende a Pedro: ¿a ti qué? Tú sígueme no más (v 22). En otras palabras, como líderes cristianos hemos de llevar a cabo de la obediencia a Cristo, ni rivalidad entre nosotros.

Es interesante que tres de los cuatro Evangelios (Mateo, Marcos y Juan) terminan con los discípulos están dadas las nuevas responsabilidades para el evangelismo. Matthews termina con la Gran Comisión (Mateo 28:19-20), Marcos termina con los discípulos a predicar por todas partes y haciendo milagros (signos), Juan termina con una lección sobre el liderazgo cristiano. Sólo en Lucas no los discípulos simplemente cuelgan alrededor de la iglesia. Sin embargo, Lucas es como un prefacio prolongado con el Libro de los Hechos (también escrito por Lucas), donde prácticamente todo el libro es acerca de la evangelización de la iglesia temprana y la obra del Espíritu Santo.

El Evangelio de Juan no es tímido acerca de la descripción de su objetivo. Juan escribe:  éstas se han escrito para que ustedes crean que Jesús es el Cristo, el Hijo de Dios, y para que al creer en su nombre tengan vida (Juan 20:31 NVI).  Mi oración es que su objetivo se logra.

Juan 21: De Pescado a Ovejas

Otras Métodos de Conectar:

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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JOHN 20: Encounters with the Risen Christ

seeds_12162013By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit (John 12:24 ESV).

How do you respond to the risen Christ?

In John 20 we observe 8 encounters with the risen Christ.

1. The first encounter is really not an encounter so much as an expression of fear of the unknown.  Mary Magdalene saw that the stone had been move from the grave and she ran to tell Peter and the others.  Actually, she did not even look inside although she reported that Jesus’ body had been taken (vv 1-2).  Maybe she did look, but we are not told.

2. The second encounter is Peter’s.  Peter ran on Mary’s report to see the tomb, found it empty, and left (vv 2-7).  We are not told how Peter responded to the empty grave.

3. The third encounter is that of the “Other Disciple”, presumably John, who was with Peter.  He experienced everything that Peter did (and ran faster), but, unlike Peter, we are told that he “saw and believed” (vv 7-8).  He too then left.

4. The fourth encounter is Mary Magdalene’s second encounter.  She remains at the gravesite grieving.  This time, however, she peeks inside the tomb and sees two angels who ask her why she is crying (vv 12-13).  The angel’s presence in the tomb is most curious because neither Peter nor the other disciple saw angels only moments earlier.

5. A fifth encounter occurs, this time between Mary Magdalene and Jesus.  Jesus is standing right next to her and she does not recognize him (v 14).  He repeats the angel’s question (why are you crying?) and then asks her: who are you seeking?  She then begins to quiz him about the whereabouts of Jesus’ body (v 15).

6. A sixth encounter occurs as Jesus addresses Mary by name.  She recognizes and grabs him.  He cautions her not to hold on to him, but sends her to the other disciples with the word of his resurrection (vv 16-17).

7. The seventh encounter is with the disciples behind locked doors later that evening.  Here Jesus comforts them, commands them to evangelize, grants them the Holy Spirit, and bestows on them the power to forgive or retain sins. The dialog is often interpreted as  commissioning service (vv 19-23) to which Thomas is absent.  When Thomas is told about it, he refuses to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead.

8. The eighth encounter arises a week later when Thomas is present and on seeing Jesus comes to faith.  Thomas’ initial doubt and subsequent belief are significant for us because Jesus’ words—Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed (John 20:29 ESV)—appear directed as us.  Interestingly, John closes out the chapter by commenting on his writing objective—that his readers come to faith (v 31).

We each come to Christ in different ways.  Reviewing these encounters we observe 4 things:

(1) Revelations to the disciples differ in time and content,

(2) The disciples do not all respond immediately in faith,

(3) Jesus reveals himself to some, but not others, and

(4) Mary Magdalene ties these accounts together.

How has Jesus revealed himself to you?

QUESTIONS

  1. How has Jesus revealed himself to you? How have you responded?
  2. When did Mary Magdalene visit Jesus’ tomb? (v 1) Why is it interesting?
  3. How did Mary Magdalene know Jesus’ body was gone? Did she look into the tomb? (vv 1-2)
  4. How did she respond to this discovery? (v 2)
  5. How do Peter and the other disciple respond to Mary? (vv 3-4)  Who is the other disciple?
  6. Why did the other disciple wait before entering the tomb? (v 5)
  7. How did Peter and the other disciple respond to the empty tomb? (vv 5-10)
  8. How did Mary respond to the empty tomb? (v 11)
  9. Why did Mary see angels where Peter and the other disciple did not? (vv11-12)
  10. What did Mary ask the angels? What did she ask? (vv 12-13)
  11. Why did Mary not recognize Jesus? (vv 14-15)
  12. When did she recognize Jesus? (v 16) When did she recognize Jesus?  Why is this episode theologically interesting?
  13. What does Jesus say to Mary? (v 17)
  14. How did she respond? (v 18) Why did the disciples not run back to the garden?
  15. How does Jesus appear to the disciples? (v 19)
  16. What 4 things does Jesus say to the disciples? (vv 19-23)What is this series of statement like?
  17. What is significant about Thomas’ encounter with Jesus?(vv 24-29)  What happens?  How does he respond?
  18. What is John’s purpose in writing? (vv 30-31)

 

JOHN 20: Encounters with the Risen Christ

Also see:

JOHN 21: From Fish to Sheep

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 20: Encuentros con Cristo Vivo

seeds_12162013Por Stephen W. Hiemstra

Ciertamente les aseguro que si el grano de trigo no cae en tierra y muere, se queda solo. Pero si muere, produce mucho fruto (Juan 12:24 NVI).

¿Cómo responde usted a Cristo resucitado?

En Juan 20 se observa 8 encuentros con el Cristo resucitado.

1. El primer encuentro no es realmente un encuentro tanto como una expresión del miedo a lo desconocido. María Magdalena vio que la piedra había sido movida de la tumba y ella corrió a decirle a Pedro ya los otros. En realidad, ella ni siquiera miró en el interior a pesar de que informó de que el cuerpo de Jesús había sido tomado (vv 1-2). Tal vez ella se veía, pero no se nos dice.

2. El segundo encuentro es Pedro. Pedro corrió sobre el informe de María, a ver el sepulcro, la encontró vacía, y se fue (vv 2-7). No se nos dice que Pedro respondió a la tumba vacía.

3. El tercer encuentro es la del “otro discípulo”, presumiblemente John, que estaba con Peter. Él experimentó todo lo que hizo Pedro, pero, a diferencia de Pedro, se nos dice que él “vio y creyó” (vv. 7-8). Él también se fue.

4. El cuarto encuentro es el segundo encuentro de María Magdalena. Ella permanece en el duelo tumba. Esta vez, sin embargo, ella mira a escondidas en el interior de la tumba y ve dos ángeles que le preguntaba por qué está llorando (vv 12-13). La presencia del ángel en la tumba es más curioso porque ni Pedro ni el otro discípulo vieron ángeles que sólo momentos antes.

5. Un quinto encuentro se produce, esta vez entre María Magdalena y Jesús. Jesús está de pie junto a ella, y ella no lo reconoce (v 14). Repite la pregunta del ángel (¿por qué lloras?) Y luego le pregunta quién buscáis? A continuación, comienza a hacerle preguntas sobre el paradero del cuerpo de Jesús (v 15).

6. Un sexto encuentro se produce mientras Jesús se dirige a María por su nombre. Ella reconoce y lo agarra. Él le advierte que no se aferran a él, pero envía a los otros discípulos con el mensaje de su resurrección (vv. 16-17).

7. El séptimo encuentro es con los discípulos detrás de puertas cerradas más tarde esa noche. Aquí Jesús los consuela, les manda a evangelizar, les concede el Espíritu Santo, y les otorga el poder de perdonar o retener los pecados. El cuadro de diálogo se lee como un servicio de ordenación o la puesta en servicio (vv 19-23).

Thomas está ausente y se niega a creer en la resurrección. Thomas’ ausencia es importante para nosotros porque de Jesús’ palabras – ¿Te has creído porque me has visto? Bienaventurados los que no vieron, y creyeron (Juan 20:29 NVI) – dirigido aparecerá como nosotros.

8. El octavo encuentro surge una semana después, cuando Thomas está presente y en el acto viene a la fe. Entonces Jesús bendice a aquellos de nosotros que han llegado a la fe sin la vista. Curiosamente, John cierra el capítulo de revelar su objetivo por escrito – que nosotros, los lectores, creemos (v 31).

Cada uno de nosotros venimos a Cristo de diferentes maneras. La revisión de estos encuentros que observamos 4 cosas:

(1) Las revelaciones a los discípulos difieren en tiempo y contenido,

(2) Los discípulos no todos responden de inmediato en la fe,

(3) Jesús se revela a algunos, pero no en otros, y

(4) María Magdalena vincula estas cuentas juntos.

Como ha puesto de manifiesto el propio Jesús para usted?

Juan 20: Encuentros con Cristo Vivo

Otras Métodos de Conectar:

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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JOHN 19: Suffered, Crucified, Died, Buried

FPCA Avian-Spirit CrossBy Stephen W. Hiemstra

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth (Isaiah 53:7 ESV).

Jesus’ life story is an important part of the Apostle Creed which, in part, reads:  He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell[1].  While Jesus’ death raises many questions, why is it important to remember the brutality of his suffering?

The answer to this question depends on one’s experience of suffering.  At one point, I spent a weekend at Princeton Theological Seminary.  Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (2004) had just been released and I attended the film with some seminary students, one of whom was African American.  The film blistered my mind and left me speechless sitting in an empty theatre afterwards.  The purpose of the graphic brutality eluded me—Christ’s resurrection, not Christ’s death, had always been my theological focus.  My African American colleague, by contrast, understood implicitly.  The bond between Christ’s suffering and hers was real—suffering people hear and feel the nails being pounded in the Gospel accounts.  That’s how they know that God feels their pain.

One measure of the brutality here is the word used for flogging.  Roman law distinguished three types of flogging:  fustigatio (beating), flagellatio (flogging), and verberatio (scourging)[2].  John 19:1 records a flagellatio flogging (ἐμαστίγωσεν)[3].  A fustigatio beating (παιδεύσας—literally teaching a child)[4] is recorded in Luke 23:16 which would simply be a warning.  Mark 15:15 records a verberatio scourging (φραγελλώσας)[5], where bones and internal organs would be exposed, which would be prelude to crucifixion and often killed the prisoner.  Because flogging generally preceded crucifixion, as the only writer who was also an eye-witness to the actual flogging John is recording a more nuanced account. This lends to his credibility. John’s choice of the word, flagellation, according suggests that Pilate truly had not made up his mind to crucify Jesus at that point.

Of course, Jesus’ suffering did not end with the flogging.

One of the principles of alcoholics anonymous is that it takes an alcoholic to understand an alcoholic[6].  Human suffering works the same way. Christ’s suffering gives him credibility to approach us in our suffering.  The extreme nature of his suffering implies that no human being could suffer more; hence, no one is excluded from relationship with Christ.  In effect, Christ’s suffering and death is what assures us that Jesus was truly human.

The English Standard Version divides chapter 19 into these section:  Jesus delivered to be crucified (vv 1-16), The crucifixion (vv 17-27), The death of Jesus (vv 28-30), Jesus’ side is pierced (vv 31-37), and Jesus is buried (vv 38-42).  …Suffered, Crucified, Died, Buried…

Christ crucifixion, death, piercing, and burial prepare us for the reality of the resurrection.  One must be truly dead in order to be resurrected.

Footnotes

[1]Question 23 of the Heidelberg Catechism.  Faith Alive Christian Resources.  2013. The Heidelberg Catechism.   Online:  https://www.rca.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=372.  Date:  30 August, 2013.

[2]Gary M. Burge.  2000.  The NIV Application Commentary:  John.  Grand Rapids:  Zondervan. Pages 502-503.  Also:  Craig S. Keener.  2003.  The Gospel of John:  A Commentary.  Vol 2.  Peabody:  Hendrickson.  Pages 1118-1119.

[3]μαστιγόω (BDAG 4729): to beat with a whip or lash, whip, flog, scourge (of flogging as a punishment decreed by the synagogue).

[4]παιδεύω (BDAD 5489.2): to assist in the development of a person’s ability to make appropriate choices, practice discipline.

[5]φραγελλόω (BDAG 7809): flog, scourge, a punishment inflicted on slaves and provincials after a sentence of death had been pronounced on them.

[5]From the alcoholic’s perspective, of course.  Howard J. Clinebell, Jr.  1978.  Understanding and Counseling the Alcoholic Through Religion and Psychology.  Nashville:  Abingdon.  Page 128.

QUESTIONS

  1. What does Jesus’ suffering mean to you?
  2. Why does Pilate flog and ridicule Jesus? (vv 1-5). Does he accomplish his objective?
  3. Why do the Jews want Jesus crucified, not stoned? (vv 6-7; Leviticus 24:16; Deuteronomy 21:22-23).
  4. Why is Pilate afraid? (v 8)
  5. What does Jesus say to allay Pilate’s fear (vv 9-11)
  6. Why does Pilate finally submit to the Jew’s demands? (vv 12-16)
  7. What is ironical about the Jews saying that Pilate is not Caesar’s friend? Why is he terrified of this statement?
  8. What is the significance of the inscription placed over Jesus? (v 19).

Iesus Nazarenus rex Iudaeorum (INRI; John 19:19 VUL)

  1. Why are the priests upset? (vv 21-22).
  2. What is the significance of Jesus’ tunic and its treatment? (vv 23-24; Psalm 22:18; Genesis 37:23)
  3. Why does Jesus consign his mother to John? (vv 25-27)
  4. Why does Jesus ask for wine? (vv 28-30; Psalm 69:21)
  5. Why are Jesus’ last words here important? (v 30; Also Luke 23:46; Matthew 27:50; Mark 15:37).
  6. What is the reason for the breaking of legs? What is the significance? (vv 31-34, 36; Deuteronomy 21:22-23; Numbers 9:12; Exodus 12:46)
  7. What is the significance of the blood and water coming from Jesus’ side? (v 34; Revelations 22:1-3)
  8. Who was a witness to the crucifixion? (v 35)
  9. What do Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus have in common? What is special about their role now?  (vv 38-40)
  10. What does the reference to the garden bring to mind? Why? (v 41)
  11. What role does the Jewish day of Preparation play in Jesus’ burial? (v 42)

 

JOHN 19: Suffered, Crucified, Died, Buried

Also see:

JOHN 20: Encounters with the Risen Christ 

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 19: Sufrido, Crucificado, Muerto, Enterrado


Holy Spirit Cross at First Presbyterian Church of Annandale in Annandale, VirginiaPor Stephen W. Hiemstra

Maltratado y humillado, ni siquiera abrió su boca; como cordero, fue llevado al matadero; como oveja, enmudeció ante su trasquilador; y ni siquiera abrió su boca (Isaias 53:7 NVI)

Historia de la vida de Jesús es una parte importante del Apóstol Creed que dice: Padeció bajo el poder de Poncio Pilato, fue crucificado, muerto y sepultado, descendió al infierno1. Mientras que la muerte de Jesús plantea muchas preguntas, ¿por qué es importante recordar la brutalidad de su sufrimiento?

La respuesta a esta pregunta depende de la experiencia del sufrimiento de uno. Una vez, me pasé un fin de semana en Princeton Theological Seminary. De Mel Gibson La Pasión de Cristo (2004) acababa de ser puesto en libertad y yo asistimos a la película con algunos estudiantes del seminario, uno de los cuales era afroamericano. La película a ampollado mi mente y me dejó sin habla sentado en un teatro vacío después. El propósito de la brutalidad gráfica se me escapaba. La resurrección de Cristo, no la muerte de Cristo, siempre había sido mi enfoque teológico. Mi colega afroamericano, por el contrario, entiende implícitamente. El vínculo entre el sufrimiento y el de ella de Cristo fue real. Las personas que sufren oyen y sienten los clavos que latía en los relatos evangélicos. Así es como ellos saben que Dios siente su dolor.

Una medida de la brutalidad aquí es la palabra usada para los azotes. Derecho romano distinguió tres tipos de flagelación: fustigatio (golpes), flagellatio (flagelación), y verberatio (azotes)2. Juan 19:01 registra una flagellatio flagelación (ἐμαστίγωσεν)3. Una paliza fustigatio (παιδεύσας – literalmente enseñar a un niño)4 se registra en Lucas 23:16 que sería simplemente una advertencia. Marcos 15:15 registra una verberatio (φραγελλώσας)5, donde estarían expuestos los huesos y los órganos internos, lo que sería el preludio a la crucifixión ya menudo matado al prisionero. Debido a la flagelación crucifixión generalmente precedido, como el único escritor que también fue un testigo ocular de la real John flagelación está grabando un relato más matizado. Esto se presta a su credibilidad. La elección de Juan de la palabra, la flagelación, según sugiere que Pilato realmente no se había tomado la decisión de crucificar a Jesús en ese punto.

Por supuesto , el sufrimiento de Jesús no terminó con la flagelación.

Uno de los principios de Alcohólicos Anónimos es que se necesita un alcohólico para entender un alcohólico6. El sufrimiento humano funciona de la misma manera. El sufrimiento de Cristo le da credibilidad a acercarse a nosotros en nuestro sufrimiento. La naturaleza extrema de su sufrimiento implica que ningún ser humano podría sufrir más, por lo que nadie está excluido de la relación con Cristo. En efecto, el sufrimiento y muerte de Cristo es lo que nos asegura que Jesús era verdaderamente humano.

El English Standard Version divide el capítulo 19 en estas secciones: Jesús entregó para ser crucificado (vv. 1-16), La crucifixión (vv 17-27), La muerte de Jesús (vv 28-30), se atravesó el costado de Jesús (vv 31-37), y Jesús es sepultado (vv 38-42). … Sufrió , crucificado, muerto , sepultado …

La crucifixión de Cristo, la muerte, la perforación, y el entierro nos preparan para la realidad de la resurrección. Hay que ser realmente muerto con el fin de ser resucitado.

[1]Question 23 of the Heidelberg Catechism.  Faith Alive Christian Resources.  2013. The Heidelberg Catechism.   Online:  https://www.rca.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=372.  Date:  30 August, 2013.

[2]Gary M. Burge.  2000.  The NIV Application Commentary:  John.  Grand Rapids:  Zondervan. Pages 502-503.  Also:  Craig S. Keener.  2003.  The Gospel of John:  A Commentary.  Vol 2.  Peabody:  Hendrickson.  Pages 1118-1119.

[3]μαστιγόω (BDAG 4729): to beat with a whip or lash, whip, flog, scourge (of flogging as a punishment decreed by the synagogue).

[4]παιδεύω (BDAD 5489.2): to assist in the development of a person’s ability to make appropriate choices, practice discipline.

[5]φραγελλόω (BDAG 7809): flog, scourge, a punishment inflicted on slaves and provincials after a sentence of death had been pronounced on them.

[6]From the alcoholic’s perspective, of course.  Howard J. Clinebell, Jr.  1978.  Understanding and Counseling the Alcoholic Through Religion and Psychology.  Nashville:  Abingdon.  Page 128.

Juan 19: Sufrido, Crucificado, Muerto, Enterrado

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Books, Films, and Ministry

Books reviewed

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

For years, I divided the world into three kinds of people:  those who never learn, those who learn from their mistakes, and those who learn from other people’s mistakes. Book ministry helps move people into this latter category by connecting them with books they can use.

Book Ministry and Reviews

One way to undertake a book ministry is to give away good books.  Years ago in my office, a colleague started a book drive where he encouraged employees to bring in old, unwanted books that would be set out for display.  People could choose any book, pay what they thought it was worth, and the money raised was donated to charity.  Most of the books donated were steamy romance and murder novels.  I thought, why not throw in a few good Christian titles?

Another way to undertake a book ministry is to give people books that focus on the issues they are struggling with.  My favorite wedding gift for many years, for example, has been Henry Cloud and John Townsend’s Boundaries. Another frequent gift for inactive, older friends and family was Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge’s Younger Next Year, which explains in detail why exercise will extend and enrich your life. After gifting a book, I would check up later to see what they thought of it.

Another variation on the book ministry theme is to give relatives the same book or inspirational DVD as a Christmas gift.  The idea is to generate buzz in the family about a helpful topic and to move conversation away from the weather, sports highlights, and the latest tragedy on television.  While this may be akin to mission impossible, inspirational DVDs accomplish the same objective.  A modestly priced example is:  The Star of Bethlehem (2009) by Frederick A. Larson and Stephen Vidano.

Speaking of Christmas, why not wrap up your favorite inspirational titles and DVDs and bring them as gifts when you go caroling at the local retirement center, jail, or psyche ward?  People in these places have a lot of time on their hands and the cable channels are unfortunately a major part of their entertainment.  DVDs are also useful in reaching young people.

Summary

Over time, my book ministry evolved into blogging reviews of good books and writing books of my own.  While I have reviewed a few newly published books, most books that I review are more than a couple years old.  The reason is simple: I am trying to introduce readers to books that have changed my life in some way.  Hopefully, my books and reviews will help readers learn from my experience.

References

Cloud, Henry and John Townsend. 1992.  Boundaries:  When to Say YES; When to Say NO; To Take Control of Your Life. Grand Rapids:  Zondervan.

Crowley, Chris and Henry S. Lodge. 2007. Younger Next Year:  Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy Until You’re 80 and Beyond. New York:  Workman Publishing.

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

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JOHN 18: The Arrest and Trials of Jesus

Stephen W. Hiemstra, Photograph of Boxing Gloves
Stephen W. Hiemstra 1983

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Whom do you seek?  They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus said to them, I am he… they drew back and fell to the ground (John 18:4-6 ESV).

Jesus is full of surprises.

If a crowd of angry, armed men came up to you on a dark night and asked for you by name, then the expected answer is something like:  sorry, I have no idea who you are looking for!!!  What does Jesus do?  Jesus asks who they are looking for and volunteers—that’s me.  Actually, Jesus says–I am—which is the same expression in Greek that God uses to respond to Moses in the burning bush (ἐγώ εἰμι (Exodus 3:14).

The soldiers and officials of the chief priests (v 3) sense the presence of God—a theophany—and they draw back falling to the ground (v 6).  They are so confused that Jesus has to repeat the question—who are you looking for? (v 7)  Having focused their attention on himself, he asks them to let his disciples go and they comply. This response fulfills Jesus’ own prophecy in John 10:28 (vv 8-9).

Jesus is taken away and undergoes three interrogations:  before Annas (vv 13-23), Caiaphas (vv 24-28), and Pontius Pilate (vv 29-38).  In these three interrogations, Jesus is clearly in control in conversations with powerful leaders;  by contrast, the Apostle Peter is shaken by conversations with mere no bodies and denies his relationship with Jesus three times.

Annas is the previous high priest and father-in-law of Caiaphas who was the presiding high priest.  Annas asked Jesus about his disciples and his teaching (v 19) to which Jesus replied:  why are you asking me? (v 21)  Because Jesus is being tried for sedition (being king of the Jews), Annas has to prove that a conspiracy exists–one man’s confession does not suggest a conspiracy.  As a capital case, Jewish law requires at least two witnesses(Deuteronomy 17:6).  Annas has none!

So Jesus is sent to Caiaphas.  John’s Gospel records no discussion from this interrogation, but a lengthy proceeding is recorded in Matthew.  Caiaphas asks Jesus if he is the Son of God (Matthew 26:63).  Jesus answers the question and Caiaphas accuses him of blasphemy—a charge punishable by stoning (Leviticus 24:16).  Pushing the Romans to crucify Jesus (hung on a tree) implies that they wanted him cursed by God—discredited as well as killed (Deuteronomy 21:22-23).

Jesus is then sent to Pilate who asks:  are you the king of the Jews (v 33).  Jesus’ question—did someone ask you to pose this question—begs clarification because the Jewish and Roman interests in the question differ (v 34).  A Jew would ask—are you the Messiah?  But the Romans only wanted to know if Jesus were a revival king—a political threat.  Jesus responds to Pilate’s concern about political opposition by reminding Pilate that his disciples did not put up a fight when he was arrested (v 36).  At this point, Jesus’ innocence is obvious.  Pilate then concludes that Jesus is no threat (v 38).

In some sense, each of us put Jesus on trial in our own hearts and minds.  Do we scorn the truth just to get what we want?  Do we prefer the Son of God or Barabbas?

Jesus is full of surprises.

QUESTIONS

  1. Where was Jesus and the disciples at the beginning of this chapter? (vv 1-2).Where did Jesus not pray in chapter 17? (Matthew 26:30, 36; Mark 14:26, 32; Luke 22:39)  How do you resolve the discrepancy?
  2. What role does Judas play in Jesus’ arrest here? (vv 2-3).  What role does he play in Matthew 26:47-48 (also Mark 14:43-45; Luke 22:47-48)?  Who takes the initiative in John?
  3. What happens when Jesus asks the crowd, who do you seek? Why? (vv 4-8) Why did he ask twice? (v 9)
  4. Why are Jesus’ instructions to Peter about sword-play important? (vv 10-12, also 36)
  5. Who interrogates Jesus? (vv 13-23, 24-28, and 29-38)  Who is really in charge of the case against Jesus?
  6. What is the charge? (v 33; Matthew 26:63-65)
  7. What is the penalty for blasphemy under Jewish law? (Leviticus 24:16).  Why do they want Jesus crucified?  (Deuteronomy 21:22-23).
  8. Why does Jesus ask Pilate to clarify his question? (v 33)  How might Jesus answer the question differently to a Jew as opposed to a Roman?
  9. How does Peter’s denial three times (vv 15-18, 25-27) compare with Jesus’ response to his accusers? (vv 4-8, 11, 20-23, 34-37) Who questions Jesus?  Who questions Peter?  Is Jesus portrayed as a victim?
  10. What is Pilate’s relationship with the Jewish leaders? (vv 28-31)
  11. What kind of king is Jesus? (vv 33-39)
  12. What does the crowd ask for Barabbas instead of Jesus? (v 40)

 

JOHN 18: The Arrest and Trials of Jesus

Also see:

JOHN 19: Suffered, Crucified, Died, Buried

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 18: La Detención y Juicios de Jesús

Stephen W. Hiemstra, Photograph of Boxing GlovesPor Stephen W. Hiemstra

¿A quién buscan? —les preguntó. A Jesús de Nazaret contestaron. —Yo soy … dieron un paso atrás y se desplomaron. (Juan 18:4-6 NVI).

Jesús está llena de sorpresas.

Si un grupo de hombres furiosos y armados se acercó a usted en una noche oscura y le preguntó por su nombre, entonces la respuesta esperada es algo así como: lo siento, no tengo ni idea de quién usted está buscando! ¿Qué hace Jesús? Jesús pregunta quién están buscando y voluntarios—que soy yo. En realidad, Jesús dice: – Yo soy, que es la misma expresión en griego que Dios usa para responder a Moisés en la zarza ardiente (ἐγώ εἰμι (Éxodo 3:14).

Los soldados y oficiales de los jefes de los sacerdotes ( v 3 ) detectan la presencia de Dios – una teofanía – y se retraen de caer al suelo ( v 6 ) . Ellos están tan confundidos que Jesús tiene que repetir la pregunta que es lo que buscas ? ( v 7 ) Después de haber centrado su atención en sí mismo, se les pide que deje que sus discípulos vayan y cumplan . Esta respuesta satisface propia profecía de Jesús en Juan 10:28 (vv 8-9).

Jesús se quita y se somete a tres interrogatorios: ante Anás (vv 13-23), Caifás (vv 24-28), y el poder de Poncio Pilato (vv 29-38). En estos tres interrogatorios, Jesús está claramente en control en las conversaciones con los líderes de gran alcance; por el contrario, el apóstol Pedro es sacudida por las conversaciones con personas common y niega su relación con Jesús tres veces.

Anás el sumo sacerdote anterior y el padre-en-ley de Caifás , que era sumo sacerdote presidente . Anás le preguntó a Jesús acerca de sus discípulos y de su doctrina ( v 19 ) a la cual Jesús respondió : ¿Por qué me lo preguntas ? ( v 21 ) Debido a que Jesús es juzgado por sedición (siendo el rey de los Judios ) , Anás tiene que demostrar que existe una conspiración – la confesión de un hombre no sugiere una conspiración. Como caso de pena capital , la ley judía requiere por lo menos dos testigos ( Deuteronomio 17:06 ) . Anás tiene ninguno!

Así que Jesús es enviado a Caifás. El Evangelio de Juan registra ninguna discusión de este interrogatorio, pero un largo proceso se registra en Mateo. Caifás le pregunta a Jesús si él es el Hijo de Dios (Mateo 26:63). Jesús responde a la pregunta y Caifás le acusa de blasfemia— un cargo penado por lapidación (Levítico 24:16). Empujar los romanos para crucificar a Jesús (colgado en un madero) implica que ellos querían lo maldijo por Dios desacreditada, así como muertos (Deuteronomio 21:22-23).

Jesús es entonces enviado a Pilato que le pide : ¿eres tú el rey de los Judios ( v 33 )?  Jesús pregunta–alguien te pidió que plantear esta aclaración–pregunta plantea porque los intereses judíos y romanos en la cuestión difieren ( v 34 ) . Un Judio preguntaba – ¿eres tú el Mesías? Pero los romanos sólo quería saber si Jesús fuera un renacimiento rey – una amenaza política . Jesús responde a la preocupación de Pilato sobre la oposición política al recordarles a Pilato que sus discípulos no ofrecieron resistencia cuando fue detenido ( v 36 ) . En este punto, la inocencia de Jesús es evidente. Pilato entonces concluye que Jesús no es una amenaza ( v 38 ) .

En cierto sentido, cada uno de nosotros poner a Jesús a juicio en nuestros propios corazones y mentes. ¿Nos despreciamos la verdad sólo para conseguir lo que queremos? ¿Preferimos el Hijo de Dios o Barrabás?

Jesús está llena de sorpresas.

Juan 18: La Detención y Juicios de Jesús

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

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