Wednesday, July 19, 2023

He that loveth another hath fulfilled the law (John 15)

John chapter 15 opens with Jesus's "I am the vine" speech. This is a very popular one among Christians, at least in my experience. He uses the metaphor of being a vine and believers being branches, and if they stay connected, they will bear fruit. Jesus also talks about branches that are not connected being removed and burned up, which the SAB chooses to take much more literally than I think it was intended; it's a metaphor. Jesus also repeats what he said before about prayers being answered, which I addressed in the last chapter. Jesus commands his disciples to love each other, which the SAB makes an insightful comment on: if Jesus is saying love everyone, this is great, but so many people take it to mean only love Christians who are like you, which is sad indeed.

Did Jesus tell his disciples everything? Yeah, on the face of it, with these verses coming in this order, it sounds like a contradiction. I think the likely resolution is that when Jesus says here in chapter 15 that he told them "all things that I have heard of my Father" he means that he's told them everything they need to know at this time; I mean, it doesn't actually say "everything". I think there are things that they are only going to fully understand after Jesus is resurrected.

In verse 23, Jesus says, "He that hateth me hateth my Father also." The SAB rightly interprets this to mean if you hate Jesus, you therefore hate God, and calls it intolerant, noting that Luther used this verse as an excuse for antisemitism. I think this is unfortunate, and it's not meant to be that way. I don't think Jesus is saying you can't love God without loving Jesus, but rather that those who fully understand who Jesus was and hate him for it are hating God. Yeah, it's a fine line, but I nonetheless feel it's important.

I already addressed who sent the Holy Ghost in the last chapter.

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