Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Repentance and the Fourth Gospel: Part 5

The Stone Waterpots at the Wedding in Cana: John 2:1–12

This passage describes Jesus’ first sign in Galilee. Why not just take the sign at face value and move on? In the Fourth Gospel, one has not truly “seen” the sign until one understands its significance. According to Brown, the focus of this passage is the “replacement of Jewish institutions and religious views” which points to “Jesus as the one sent by the Father to bring salvation to the world.” Bultmann describes the main significance of passage as communicating Jesus’ divinity as Revealer. The only way a connection to repentance could be made is by combining the idea of the Jewish ritual purifications with forgiveness; then connecting forgiveness to repentance. This, admittedly, appears to be a stretch in light of the conclusions just discussed. Also, Moloney finds essentially no significance in the purification rituals mentioned: “There is no need to link the purification mentioned here with any particular feast, or with rites before or after a meal.” Essentially, it is not what the story is about. Therefore, no connection to repentance should be emphasized.

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