Wednesday, July 28, 2010

John's Gospel - 9

John 1.19-23


John the Baptist gives his testimony regarding Jesus. It spans three days. (cf. verses 29, 35) Is this something like the testimony of two or three witnesses required in Deuteronomy?

Part of his witness is to be a voice in the wilderness. This wilderness theme in the Old Testament is very significant. John, the author, is saying more than that John the Baptist preaches out in the desert. This is a comment about Israel’s situation. Thus, according to Hosea, Yahweh will call Israel back to the wilderness to renew the old marriage vows originally made in the wilderness. (See Hosea 2.14-16.) In this context, this explains an aspect of Jesus’ ministry: restoring Israel to her God, something that did not happen because Israel rejected Jesus. (John 1.11) [Jesus failed at something?!?] This sets up an important theme for John in his writings: the Gospel is for the nations, the Gentiles, who, with the remnant of old Israel (the apostles, etc.), become the New Israel. (cf. e.g. John 3.16, 1 John 2.2; Philippians 3.3)

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