The King of Stories -- The Death of the Year

Introductory note from Jason Pratt: see here for the previous entry; and see here for the first entry of the series. (It explains what I'm doing, and how, and contains the Johannine prologue.)

The Death of the Year

(The Evangelist continues:) Now there came to be the winter Feast of Dedications in Jerusalem; and Jesus walked among the Temple columns in the portico of Solomon.

The Jews (meaning Jewish leaders, per the Evangelist's standard usage) therefore surrounded Him and said to Him: "If you are the Anointed King, then tell us plainly!"

Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you don't believe.

"The works which I am doing in My Father's name are testifying to Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep--just as I have told you.

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them; and they are following Me. Now I am giving them God's own life, and they shall by no means be dying-into-the-eon.

"And no one shall be snatching them from My hand!

"My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one has the power to be snatching them out of My Father's hand!

"My Father and I are a unity." [Footnote: using the term from the Shema: Hear O Israel the Lord your God the Lord is One!]

So the Jews picked up some stones again to stone Him.

Jesus answered them: "I have shown you many good deeds from My Father! Which of them shall you stone Me for?!"

The Jews replied to Him: "We do not stone you for any good deed, but for blasphemy--that you, being a human, make yourself out to be God!!"

Jesus answered them, "Is it not written your law, (actually in the Psalms, though often colloquially treated as one with the Torah) 'I say you are gods'? If he to whom the Word of God came, said that these (of whom he spoke) were gods--and the Scripture cannot be made nothing!--are you saying to the One the Father hallows and sends out into the world 'you are blaspheming', because I said, 'I am Son-of-God'?

[Footnote: notably, the ones of whom the Psalmist was speaking, were rulers of the earth who had been abusing their power--and so the verse continues: "but ye shall die like mortal men..." A common rabbinic superiority tactic is to quote part of a verse and expect the other rabbi to pick up the point by emphasis from the rest of the saying.]

"If I do not perform My Father's works, then don't believe Me! Yet if I do them and you still can't trust Me, then at least believe the works!--so that you may be knowing and be trusting that the Father is in Me and I am in the Father."

So they sought once more to seize Him for arrest; but He evades their hands.


Now He goes away again (says the Evangelist), beyond the Jordan (River to the east), where John had been baptizing; and He stays there.

Many came to Him however, and they said, "John indeed did not perform one sign, and yet whatever John declared about this one was true!"

And many trusted in Him there.


Now there was a certain sick man, Lazarus of Bethany, where Mary and her sister Martha lived. And Mary is the one who rubbed the Lord with attar, wiping His feet with her hair--whose brother Lazarus was sick. [Footnote: this hasn't happened yet in GosJohn, which means the Evangelist is referring to another text-or-tradition his audience will be familiar with where a woman has done this, such as in GosMatt.]

The sisters therefore sent (a message) to Him saying: "Master, look, the friend you love is sick!"

But when Jesus heard it, He said, "This infirmity is not to death, but for God's own glory, that through it the Son of God be glorified"; yet Jesus did love Martha and her sister, and Lazarus.

This is why, however, when He hears that he is sick, He does indeed remain where He is at for two more days.

After this He said to His disciples, "Let us go into Judea once again."

The disciples say to Him: "Rabbi! The Jews (i.e. the rabbis) have just now sought to stone you--and you're going there again?!"

Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours in the day? Whoever walks by day, he does not stumble, for he sees by this world's light. But anyone who walks by night is stumbling, for the light is not in him."

This He said, and after that He said to them, "Lazarus our friend is now at rest; but I am going, to awaken him from sleep."

The disciples therefore said to Him: "Master, if he now is resting, then he shall be saved!" Now Jesus had declared that he was dead; but they figured He was speaking of a rest of sleep.

So Jesus told them bluntly: "Lazarus is dead!

"And I rejoice for you--I was not there, so that you may believe!

"Now let us go to him..."

So when Jesus came He found that Lazarus had been entombed four days.


Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles or so; and many Jews had come to comfort Martha and her sister Mary for their brother.

Then as Martha hears of Jesus coming, she goes out to meet Him; Mary still is sitting in the house, however.

Martha therefore says to Jesus, "Sir! If you had been here... my brother wouldn't have died!!

"yet... I still believe whatever you ask of God, God will give you."

Jesus is saying to her, "Your brother will rise again."

Martha is saying to Him, "... I know that in the resurrection, in the final day, he will rise again."

Jesus said to her: "I AM the Resurrection and the Life!

"Whoever trusts in Me, he shall be living, even though he dies; and everyone who lives and trusts in Me shall by no means be dying-into-the-eon. Do you believe this?"

She is saying to Him, "Yes, Master, I have believed you are the Anointed King, the Son of God coming into the world."

And saying this she went away and summoned Miriam her sister, saying secretly: "The Rabbi is here and is summoning you."

And at hearing this, she swiftly stood and came toward Him.

Now Jesus hadn't come into the village yet, but remained outside, in the place where Martha met Him. So, when Mary quickly stood and went outside the house, the Jews with her supposed that she was going to the tomb to weep, and followed her to comfort her.

[Footnote: either this is a case where the Evangelist abandons his normal use of the term Jews--or else he's implying that Lazarus, i.e. Elizear, was himself a prominent rabbi, well-loved among his peers!]

As she came where Jesus was, seeing Him, Mary falls toward His feet, saying to Him:

"Master!--if you were here, my brother would not have died!!"

Then Jesus, as He saw her wailing, and the Jews wailing as they came toward her, growls in His breath!--shaking Himself!

And He said, "Where have you placed him?"

They are saying to Him, "Sir, come and see."

Jesus weeps.

The Jews then said, "Look!--how fond he was of him!"

Yet some said, "Couldn't he who opened up the blind man's eyes, also make it so this man would not be dying...?"

Jesus, deeply growling within Himself, is coming toward the tomb. Now, it was a cave, and a stone was laid against it.

Jesus is saying... "Remove the stone."

Martha, the sister of the deceased, is saying to Him: "Sir!!--he is already smelling, for it has been four days!"

Jesus is saying to her, "Did I not tell you, that if ever you should be trusting, you would see the glory of God!?"

So they take away the stone; and Jesus lifts His eyes, and said:

"Father, I thank You that You heard Me. And I know You always hear Me; but I said it for the people standing round nearby, that they may trust that You did send Me."

Now having said these things, He loudly cries: "Lazarus! Come...! ...OUT!!"

...and out came he who died... bound hand and foot with winding sheets, and with his face wrapped in a cloth!

Jesus is saying to them: "Set him free, and let him go!!"

Many of the Jews who came with Mary and saw what Jesus did, trust in Him.

But some of them went away and told the Pharisees what Jesus did.


So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the Sanhedrin (the Supreme Court of their theocratic branch of government, but subject now to occupying Rome); and were saying...

"What are we doing?!?

"For this man does too many signs! If we let him keep doing this, everyone will put their trust in him--and then the Romans will unseat us and obliterate our nation!"

But a certain one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest of that year (appointed by the Romans for political expediency; but also son-in-law of Annas, the 'properly' appointed high priest of the Jews), said to them:

"You all know nothing in the least!--nor do you consider: it is better for us, that one man should die for all the people, and not all the nation die instead."

But he didn't say this on his own initiative (explaining the Evangelist), but being high priest for that year he prophesied that Jesus would be dying for the nation--

and not only for the nation; but so that He may be gathering together all God's scattered children into one!


So from that day onward, they made plans that they should kill Him.

Jesus then no longer walked among the Jews (the Jewish leaders) plainly, but went from there into the countryside and wilderness, lodging (first) with His disciples in the town (and district) of Ephraim.

(before departing further north, to carry His disciples in among the sheep not of His fold, as He had promised that He would...)

John 10:22-42
John 11:1-54

[Next time: Administrations]


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