Monday, May 03, 2010

Is there a Contradiction in John 12?

No! Remember, John is not written in a chronological order. His audience is Jewish and they do not think in terms of events in a linier fashion like many western cultures do. There is a potential problem in this text when compared to the other Gospel accounts. Is there a contradiction with Mark concerning the colt or in the order of the events? Or, what about Jesus’ anointing? When, and by whom was it done? Consider that Matthew’s audience was Jewish, so he sticks with the fulfillment of prophecy in his account. For the colt, Mark only mentions the donkey because his audience is Greek, and they would not know of or care about the colt or its significance. The accounts of Matthew and Mark are different from John’s in where the accounts of Lazarus and the anointing are. The difference was chronology; Jews were not chronological thinkers; Greeks were. Hence, the book of Luke, written to Greeks, is written in a chronological order, while Matthew and John focus on events. It’s like watching a movie in a “flashback" or a “flash-forward,” where the characters are shown in a different time and different setting and then it shifts to another or current time. In addition, the narrative in Luke was probably about a different woman at a different time, so there two accounts and two annointings—one by a repenting sinner at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, and one of devotion and gratitude at the end. (Matt. 21:1-17; Mark 11:2; 14:1-11; Luke 7:36-50).

What is missed when we focus on trivialities is what we are called too. This passage ends with the narrative that has become the invocation to spread the word. The key for successful evangelism is the same as in advertising a product in the secular world; you have to “show and tell” others. We do this by words and by our actions of character and fruitful and faithful living. Be the difference so others can see our Living Lord by the mirror of yourself who reflects Him! To reflect Him, we have to act, think, and be as He has called us.

Have you ever carefully prayed and thought through where your agenda lies?

It is easy to disparage Judas who had his eyes on the money and not on Christ, but what of us?

What do you need to do to make sure your agenda for life and church is lined up with Christ’s—His call and will and not your schemes and wishes? This is paramount for a healthy church!


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