Wednesday, July 07, 2004

The Light of the Gentiles

Later manuscripts of the Gospel of John add 7:53-8:11, the story of the woman caught in adultery. I've always taught that story as being part of the Gospel, because it picks up and advances a number of themes that are being developed at that point: Jesus' judgment of the Jewish leaders according to the Law of Moses, Jesus being greater than Moses, and Jesus being greater than the Temple.

If you take it out though, the story goes from the end of seven, where the Jewish leaders are arguing about Jesus' place of origin. "Search, and see that no prophet arises out of Galilee." (7:52). Skipping through to 8:12, Jesus' response is "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life." Now consider Isaiah 9:1-2:

But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.

Jesus would rather be seen as "Mighty God" and "Prince of Peace" than merely a prophet.

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