Lectionary Year B
Arpil 2, 2000
Step V: Hermeneutical Bridge
(JFC) A. SALIENT FEATURES
God’s love seems paramount in this passage. What God’s love does, as it comes to earth in the Son especially what it does for believers in Him is a very close second major importance here. The reasons why God sent the Son, too, are worth pondering. The judgement that comes in the light in the world and those who hate (or at least avoid) the light to do deeds of evil warrant some attention, as well. Those who behave by doing what is true, who come to the light, who do their deeds as (if they are) in God, deserve some consideration, too.
(JFC) B. SMOOTH TRANSLATION
14 Just as Moses lifted up a serpent in the wilderness, so also will it be necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up, 15 so all believing in him shall have eternal life. 16 For thus God loved the world, as to give His only begotten Son, so that all believing in him should not perish but have life everlasting. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. 18 Those who believe in him are not being condemned; yet, those who do not believe in him already have been condemned for not believing in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 But this is the judgement - the light comes into the world and men love the darkness more than the light; for it (the darkness) was for them evil deeds (to do). 20 For all the evil they carried out they hated the light and they did not come to the light, (thereby) not would they expose their deeds; 21 but the ones doing the truth did come to the light, so that it could show their works that they were doing in God.
(JFC) C. HERMENEUTICAL BRIDGE
The nearest expression of God-like love this current generation has produced might be in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Love Changes Everything”. In it we sing, “Love, love changes everything, hands and faces, earth and sky. Love, love changes everything, how you live and how you die. . . Yes, love, love changes everything . . . live or perish in its name. Love will never ever let you be the same . . .” We can hope that is so.
Another possible expression of God’s love comes from hymnody. “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” calls God’s love, “Joy of heaven to earth come down . . .”
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