I’m on holiday in Yorkshire, so I haven’t posted for the last couple of days. I’m not supposed to be thinking about work, but my mind keeps going back to the great discussion I mentioned in the comments in my last post. In the book, Life Conquers Death, John Arnold mentions surmises that because the authorities knew Jesus meant it when he said he is God that’s why they killed him (this is in keeping with his argument that Jesus died because the people killed him out of their righteous indignation at a God who would make a world in which they could sin).
Leaving alone that last part for a while, I’m still thinking about whether or not people knew that Jesus was God (not that he was claiming to be God, but that they knew he is God). I didn’t understand where Arnold gets that. I admit that I do not know the Gospel of John. If it isn’t blasphemous to say, John is my least favourite Gospel. I told my Disciple class that John always seemed to be a little too ‘new age-y’ for me, especially compared to the synoptic gospels (Luke has become my favourite). Anyway, with this in mind I have always taken the view that Jesus was killed as a political threat to Caesar (and derivatively, the authorities of the Jewish leaders). I had assumed that’s the case in John, too. But at the discussion Sunday night, when I brought up my doubts about Arnold’s exegesis, someone said, ‘Well, they couldn’t find anything wrong in him – that’s how they would have known.’ It hit me, that makes sense. It makes sense that whoever wrote the Gospel of John may very well have meant to convey that those who killed Jesus knew he was God. Someone else in the discussion group went on to say that is why the people saw the light, but they loved darkness more. Why would they be trying to hide from the light if they didn’t believe it was the light, so to speak? For John’s gospel, this definately makes sence (though wouldn’t fit at all for, say, Mark’s gospel in which Jesus is trying to carry on in the mode of secrecy).
These thoughts are a little disjointed, but then again I’m on holiday. I will be thinking about this more, especially as I would like to study John more.