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Gospel of John cont 4
by J LD
01/26/14
Not For Sale


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*  John 4:34-38- '"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don't you have a saying, 'It's still four months until harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying 'One sows and another reaps' is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work and you reaped the benefits of their labor."'

When the disciples told Jesus to eat something because they had not eaten for a while, the updated revisions include cliches that were not used in the right context, nor were they used correctly in the previous editions of the NIV. Rather, I believe the passage should have been written like this:

'"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to see the work through to the end. While there is a saying on earth, 'Four months until harvest', I tell you, open your eyes and look around! The harvest is now and those who cropped for eternal life will receive their wages. The saying, 'One sows and another reaps' is true, I have sent you to reap what you haven't worked for  because others have done the hard work. But I sent you to reap the benefits of their labor so that both the sower and the reaper may be glad together."'  

The concept of gladness of both the sower and the reaper comes from the completion of work. The reaper cannot fulfill their duties unless the sower had sown; and the sower's work cannot be fulfilled until the reaper draws the crops in order for the both of them to receive their wages. In this passage, Christ was referring, 'others who have done the hard work', to being the former prophets that had come to turn the hearts of mankind to God. Christ was also working hard so that his disciples could reap the benefits of his labor, not just the benefits of the previous prophets that came to prepare the way for Jesus. This is why the original wording seemed to be in error.. because it does not help the reader fully understand the concept of the sower and the reaper and the joy they share as a result.

*  John 5:14- 'Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, "See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you."

I think a lot of believers tend to struggle with this verse because it causes them to wonder if people who were lame, crippled or physically disabled in some way, it is because of sin and not by some misfortune, mishap or fate. Indeed there may be some people who suffered bodily injury and disablement in some way due to the poor choices they made in life, but sin doesn't always result in physical injury. I know that scholars often have trouble fitting the correct translation of verses and probably assumed Christ was referring to wrongdoing or sin instead of something else. I believe the original translation was "See, you are well again. Stop falling away (or Don't fall away)..." The term 'falling away' (or fall away) can be interpreted in multiple ways as far as biblical terms go. Falling away, in this specific verse did not refer to falling from grace or giving into transgression. In this verse, I believe the term actually referred to the man's faith or hope in God and Christ was telling him not to give up or stop believing.

I also believe that just because a man has faith in God, doesn't mean they are immune to tribulations, for, even the most righteous man (like Job), can find themselves facing tribulations back to back that may include results of physical injuries and sometimes, to no end. Therefore, I don't believe the rest of the verse was 'or something worse may happen to you', but rather, 'even IF something worse may happen to you'. I think everyday people, especially those who believe in God, knows that no one is immune to trials and tribulations, including perfectly blameless men (like Job); and for Christ to make such a statement that implies that no sin = no physical injury or disablement or vice versa, makes absolutely no sense.

Therefore, I believe the correct wording of this verse should be: 'Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, "See, you are well again. Don't fall away even if something worse happens to you."'

The incident with the paralyzed man is significant because he represents everyday people who have lost hope and eventually gave up and stopped trying. When Jesus found the man, he was LYING DOWN and basically not trying to get into the pool. So, when Jesus asked him if he wanted to get well, the man assumed he was asking why he wasn't trying to get well by attempting to go into the pool and so, clearly explained to Jesus, "Every time I try to go in, someone else always goes in ahead of me.."

Jesus seeing the man later on and telling him, "Don't fall away, even if something worse happens to you" is, in another words, telling the man to never give up trying, especially if they try for many years and don't succeed. In today's society, many people give up hope when they suffer injuries from trials and tribulations of life after trying for a long time to get better. But when referring to the gospel of John for hope, because it reveals the deep things of God, people should be able to read this verse correctly, so that they understand that even the man who suffered for 36 years, eventually found healing and it guides the reader to keep holding on to their faith. Christ encouraged the man to never give up, even if something worse happens in life because he knows they will always get better as long as they hold on to their faith



 


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