Lectionary Year B
June 8, 2003
John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15
(FS) A. GENRE
The pericope is part of a section of John marked by extended discourse.
The flow of this discourse is not necessarily chronological, but may be
editorially arranged for theological impact.
(FS) B. PERSONAL INTERACTION
a. I'm struck by the variety of modern translations for the greek
"Paracletos". Is there any way we can use a single modern word to
adequately convey its meaning? As I looked at the different contemporary
translations, I was reminded of looking at a diamond from many different
angles. Each word seems accurate, but can we do linguistic justice to the
breadth of meaning?
b. What's the extent of the paraclete's "convincing the world of sin"?
Does this refer to the classical Reformed idea of "effectual calling" of the
believer-- "conviction of sin" that leads to repentance and faith? Is it
limited to Christians and future Christians? Does this look ahead to God's
judgement on "the world"?
Or does it refer to the work of the Spirit that goes beyond the bounds of
the Christian community?
c. Jesus speaks of further truth to be revealed. Does the struggle to open
the Church to Gentiles hark back to this? Was the Paraclete's work supposed
to stop when "the Canon was sealed"? How were the disciples supposed to
know how to decide when a nagging nudging toward "a truth too hard to bear"
was from the Spirit?
3. My questions seem to me to be theological. Jesus is preparing the
disciples for his departure (Passion, Resurrection, Ascension). But he makes
clear that his story with them will not end. How were the disciples to
recognize and qualify the voice of the Paracletos? (Peter, it seemed later,
didn't especially want to about fellowship with Gentile Christians.) The
Spirit came in power-- yet, how vulnerable still God made God's Self to
misunderstanding, to human stubbornness and the refusal to listen!
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