Monday, April 16, 2012

John 2

The Wedding at Cana

Jesus was at a wedding and they ran out of wine. Jesus asked the servants to fill some huge pitchers up with water and then he turned it to wine.

I've mentioned this before, but I suppose this is a fine time to bring it up again as we are at the beginning of another book. I am not terribly interested in miracle claims of Jesus, I am more interested in lessons one could learn from reading the bible. Therefore I won't necessarily have much to say about this kind of stuff.

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

Jesus went to the temple and threw out the money changers. He said that they shouldn't make his father's house a house of trade. They asked him what sign he gave for doing these things and he said to destroy the temple and he would rebuild it in 3 days. They said it took 46 years to build it, how could he do it in 3 day. But Jesus had been talking about the body and his resurrection.

I like the money changer bit, I like the idea that church should not be a place of profit. I also really like the fact that after Jesus speaks in riddle the author clarifies it by pointing out that he is talking about his body and not the literal temple. These things may seem obvious to some, but it is so much more clear and useful when it is spelled out like this.

Jesus Knows What is in Man

When Jesus was at the passover feast many people believed in him for they say what he did, but he didn't entrust himself to them because he knew what was in man.

I just said I liked that things were clearly spelled out and then the very next thing is confusing. I have no idea what this was getting at. Oh well, win some lose some.


  1. The Wedding at Cana.It's interesting that in John, its the first thing Jesus does after he get's baptized. Yet, in Mark the first thing he does is to go to the desert to be tempted by the devil.

    Jesus Cleanses the Temple Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't we read in one of the gospels about Jesus getting accused of saying that the temple would be destroyed in three days and he would rebuild it? If I remember right, he either denied it, or skirted the question by saying “thats what you say” or something along those lines? I might be wrong here. But isn't it interesting that this Gospel was written no earlier than 90AD but refers to an event that happened almost 20 years earlier and considered it prophecy?

  2. Earlier on the blog, someone mentioned in the comments that the gospels are not in chronological order, but order of importance. (Is this accurate? I don't have a source, just a vague recollection.)

    Jesus Cleanses the Temple. Yeah, that whole thing I find a bit confusing. It says that he is talking about the body of Christ and therefore the 3 days is the resurrection, fine. But then they say that it also applies to the destruction of the temple, but just the destruction and not the rebuilding 3 days later?

    This is the problem with prophecy, you are already trying to fit real events into prophecy, if you are also allowed to skip the parts that you can't make match then what good is it?

  3. I think I remember that as well. I was never taught that as a kid, but it could be true. If that's the case, why is the birth at the beginning and the resurrection at the end? Or does the "order" thing only apply to the miracle stuff. For me, a lot of the minor problems and differences could be dismissed if it wasn't supposedly "divinely inspired." I'd be more inclined to believe the stories if it was just the apostles recalling their earlier days or just authors putting on paper the stories of Jesus based on their oral traditions. This could be plausible, stories get distorted and details changed when passed down. But why wait so long to write that stuff down?

    With prophecy, its hard to tell, especially in the bible. They are so vague. They could apply to almost anything. The idea of being near the “End of Times” has been around as long as the church has been around. Every generation seems to think that prophecies are coming true. Here is an analogy which I think applies to the vagueness of the scriptures. If we were playing a card game with a bunch of friends let's say, and I said “I think that on the third hand, you are going to draw a seven of diamonds, a five of clubs.. etc” While not impossible, this would be pretty impressive, presuming I wasn't doing some card trick, also noting that I do not claim to be “divinely inspired.” That would be specific enough to verify or as you have noted before, falsify. The bible on the other hand, would say, “you will draw a bad hand.” Well, your first two hands was pretty good, so it wasn't talking about those two hands. Your third hand was pretty rotten. So, technically it worked, but it was so vague that it really was going to apply anyway at some point. It's almost like a “cold read” when it comes to interpreting prophecies in the bible.
    As far as writing it down afterwards, its really not credible in my eyes. At that point, its just hearsay. You could easily make up having predicted stuff that already happened. There is no one who can deny it, even though most sane people wouldn't listen to you.

  4. I was flipping my bible open and came across a random “worksheet page” on the gospels. It points out that Luke 1:3 says “it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus.” So, Luke explicitly mentions that his gospel is told in order. That is clearly stated. I'm still really skeptical that the other gospels aren't supposed to be told in order. Then again, this seems pretty consistent with the way people try to explain away a lot of differences. They “infer” things that aren't mentioned in the bible that happened, just so certain things can work, no matter how improbable.

    Most non fiction stories or “historical accounts” are generally told in order of events, as there is no real reason to switch them around. It's interesting that Luke makes it explicit that he is writing in order, rather than just retelling of a bunch of stuff he remembers for example. Sometimes, fiction is told out of order, but it's pretty obvious when that happens and the descriptions are in a lot more detail. This is usually to provide background for an upcoming scene or to establish context. While there are some poetic things written in here, this book isn't exactly a literary masterpiece.

  5. That is interesting. So based on that verse, we know that Luke is in order, but we don't necessarily know the other ones are supposed to be. I agree with you though, it would make more sense that they would all be told in order. However, suppose there are 2 things that are related to one another, but a bunch of stuff happened in between, it would make sense to rearrange things so the related stories were adjacent.


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