Tracing the Model Questions in John’s Gospel

leave a comment »

I’ve recently been rewatching Breaking Bad, both because the series is captivating and because I wanted to find out what I could notice throughout the series having seen how the story ends. In one of the earlier episodes, for instance, Walt holds his meth-cooking apprentice Jesse by the shoulders and tells him, “This is the first day of the rest of your life.”  I’m not going to list these things exhaustively, but just want to make the point of how these literary devices make stories multi-dimensional and constantly fresh.

In John’s gospel, which I recently began reading through for the first time in a while, there are these such devices everywhere. A lot of them are in the form of questions addressed to Jesus.  The questions demonstrate complexity, an ignorant honesty, unbelief and belief, confusion, hesitation, and fear.  I think they can serve as models for questions that we have in a relationship with Jesus.

  • Nathaniel:  “How do you know me?”
  • “the Jews”: “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you will raise it up in three days?”
  • Nicodemus: “How can a man be born when he is old?”
  • Samaritan woman: “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?”
  • disciples to Jesus concerning the Samaritan woman: “Why are you talking with her?”
  • disciples: “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?”
  • “the Jews”: “Is this not Mary and Joseph’s son? How can he say, ‘I came down from heaven?'”
  • Peter: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
  • “the Jews”: “Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks?”
  •  “the Jews”: “Where is your Father? Who are you?”
  • “the Jews: “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
  • “the Jews”: “Are you greater than our father Abraham? You are not yet fifty years old, and you have seen Abraham?”
  • “He has a demon…Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
  • “the crowd”: “How an you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?”
  • Peter: “Lord, do you wash my feet?”
  • [probably John]: “Who will betray you?”
  • Peter: “Lord, why can I not follow you now?”
  • disciples: “Lord, how can we know the way [to where you are going]?”
  • High Priest: “Is that how you answer the High Priest?”
  • Pilate: “Are you the King of the Jews?”
  • Pilate: “What is truth?”

Written by keywoodblog

August 21, 2015 at 12:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: