The Glory Has Departed

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a third one has been sent now.

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

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I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Friday, August 11, 2017

Mastestic Juxtaposition - Betrayal, Love, Witness, Denial

 Tintoretto - Washing the Disciples' Feet
Juxtapostion - 

an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.
the state of being close together or side by side.

John 13 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

The cause for confusion among the Lutheran Enthusiasts -- Preus Enterprises, Bivens, Webber, Olson, Webber, Werning, Valleskey, Pope John the Malefactor, Jungkuntz, et al. --is clear. They have never studied, never comprehended the Gospel of John. Each chapter we read in Greek class simply rings out the doctrinal nature of the Fourth Gospel. We have the background from Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The Gospel of John fills in the chronology (three year public ministry) and teaches.
I was amused when Rolf Preus posted, in typical Roman Catholic style, "The Church teaches." He kept repeating that. Oh yes, the Church of the Sacred Walther. Indefectible. Infallible. Eternal, at least for another decade. No, the Word is eternal, and the Word teaches, if we pay attention to the Holy Spirit speaking in the simple "voice of the fisherman."
As the Passion approaches, in this Gospel, the love of Jesus is emphasized all the more, even though betrayal is next.

And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;
The introduction to the washing of the disciples' feet is the action of Judas, already intent on betraying his Teacher. This is a good reminder of the price paid for teaching the truth. Jesus did not escape demonic opposition - that is the energy behind bearing the cross. As Luther reminds his readers at all times, we should expect the same. 
With betrayal in mind, Jesus set an example.

Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

The advantage of reading this Gospel in another language is finding out the new words. The Fourth Gospel is packed with the vivid details of an eye-witness. Instead of get-to-the-point shorthand, the details are the point. We can picture Jesus taking off his formal garment so he can wrap a towel around Himself, pour water into a basin, wipe His disciples' feet, and dry them with the towel. 
Is this not similar to Mary anointing His feet with aromatic oil and wiping them with her hair? 
Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?
Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.
Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.

Impulsive Peter says the first thing that comes to his mind and acts accordingly, for good and for evil. He confessed Christ as the Messiah and rebuked Him for predicting the Passion. He refused to have his feet washed, but when corrected, wanted his hands and head washed too. I have always found verse 9 to be humorous, the light touch in this Gospel, seen in great detail in chapter 9, the man born blind.

10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.
11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

This is very much like Luther's teaching that Christians remain sinners but are not dominated by sin. And yet, we are not so pure that we can neglect the Word. If we do, we soon fall into unbelief by removing ourselves from the Means of Grace. As in John 15, Jesus teaches that they are clean or pure through the Word - but not everyone. 
Judas has fallen into unbelief and opposition and only waits for his opportunity. John offers this details and also shows that no one really knows what is being taught by Jesus. 

12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. (Here He did not say EGO EIMI, but simply Eimi. EGO EIMI is the Name of God.)
14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
17 If ye know these things, happy [blessed] are ye if ye do them.

This attitude is completely lacking in the Lutheran Church. Every man who plays politics to get out of the parish is full of himself. His attitude toward being questioned is to repeat the words of the Wizard of Oz - or at least the attitude of a frightened and deceptive bully. "You dare to arouse the wrath of the great and mighty Oz?!"
Thus the servant is not greater than Jesus, who washed His disciples feet. Blessings abound when those who are sent remember Who sent them.

18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.
19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he. - that I AM.

The Fourth Gospel emphasizes that Jesus is the I AM of the Burning Bush, Exodus 3, the Angel of the Lord, the pre-incarnate Son of God. The facts of the betrayal serve to strengthen the disciples' faith in the divinity of Christ - when the Spirit calls to mind these events. 
We all believe in the divinity of Christ, but then we fail to live accordingly, such as when we turn to our clever schemes instead of laying down our cares on Him who cares for us.
"That you may believe..." is not a very good verse to use to support UOJ, so it is never mentioned by the UOJ salesmen.

20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

The verb for "receive" is used to show that the apostolic authority is connected with the Son and the Father. The Fourth Gospel has a number of word-plays that make the point clearly. That is not only very much in the spirit of the Old Testament but also a good way to teach.
Readers can see how "receive" is used in the Gospel of John and whether this supports the universal absolution of unbelievers.

21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified (witnessed), and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
Troubled is used to describe the water disturbed for healing, Jesus looking at the grief of the Lazarus mourners, and Jesus own mourning. But it is also used for "Let not your hearts be troubled." Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. John 14:1

22 Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.
23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.
24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.
25 He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?
26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.
28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.
29 For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.
30 He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.

The elaborate and vivid description of Judas being revealed as the betrayer perplexed the disciples. We can see why this description is so memorable. The disciple who recorded it was there, next to Jesus. 

31 Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
32 If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.

Jesus said He was being glorified in the betrayal and crucifixion. Enemies do not betray us - only friends can do that. And yet Jesus knew that Judas' evil was being used to glorify the Son and the Father, as revealed by the Spirit. Just as "received" was used four times, so is "glorified" used four times.

33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
36 Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.
37 Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.
38 Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.

Jesus revealed His divine foreknowledge about His future and Peter's as well. In the midst of betrayal, upcoming torture and death, Jesus emphasized His love for His own and urged them to love one another. 
The synod politicians want to emulate Judas and crucify Jesus anew rather than listen to His divine wisdom. The fruits of the Gospel are not apparent because the Gospel is no longer being taught in the plus synodical offices and the lazybone professors' studies..

 Peter's denial by Carl Bloch,
as predicted by Jesus.