Friday 02 March 2012

Bible Book:

"He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice." (v. 29)

John 3:22-36 Friday 2 March 2012


This passage begins with a discussion between disciples of Johnthe Baptist and a "Jew" who is not named, but who (like Nicodemus)is a representative of the wider group/community. The discussionreturns to the issue of purification which was alluded toin John 2:1-11, yet the whole section is aboutBaptism, and the relation between John the Baptist and Jesus.

What is the concern? Everyone is going to Jesus to bebaptized.

A conversation then takes place with John and his disciples - aboutBaptism - introduced as a conversation about purification.

John, also addressed as a "Rabbi", and Jesus are baptizing,although a correction is given later that it was Jesus' discipleswho were baptizing (John 4:2).

So where does the real leadership lie? (Such questions wereobviously important in and around the Johannine Christian community- the first recipients of John's Gospel.)

John the Baptist consistently points away from himself towardsJesus: "I am not the Messiah" (v. 28).

Do the words attributed to him here allude to the developingtheology of the Church as a "bride", and Christ as the"bridegroom"?

The words in verses 31 to 36 reflect a view of the JohannineChristian community that "the Father loves the Son and has placedeverything in his hands" (v. 35).

To Ponder

Look a map of the Holy Land at the time of Jesusand find out where Aenon (verse 23) was.

Reflect on the rich symbolism of the Church asthe Body and also the Bride of Christ. What does it mean toyou?

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