"The 'eternal life' Jesus offers believers is one that is like Jesus' own life"
"Yet it is not only the Paraclete who will abide in the disciples; John also declares, 'I am coming to you' (v. 18). Jesus promises his future presence with the believing community. This presence is once again characterized by life: 'Because I live, you also will live' (v. 19). In its context here, Jesus' present-tense statement, 'because I live,' refers to Jesus' current life. Sandwiched between the future statements, however, it reminds the reader of the resurrected life Jesus lives after his death. In John, there is no conflict between these two ways of understanding the words 'because I live.' Even before his death and resurrection, Jesus is 'the resurrection and the life' (11:25). The 'eternal life' Jesus offers believers is one that is like Jesus' own life, both as it is witnessed during his earthly life and in his life on the other side of resurrection. Both represent a life that triumphs over the power of death."
"The 'eternal life' Jesus offers believers is one that is like Jesus' own life"
"At the end of the foot washing, Jesus has commanded the disciples to 'love one another' (13:34). In verse 15, love and commandment are again linked. The one who loves Jesus keeps his commandments. The call to remember and keep the commandments is a familiar aspect of Moses' farewell discourse (see Deut. 6:5; 10:12; 11:1-8, 13). Jesus likewise calls on his disciples to keep his commandments: most specifically, the disciple is to love as Jesus loved. The discourse will return to the topics of love and commandment in verse 21. The intervening verses introduce a new topic, the Paraclete or Spirit. As the reader will learn throughout the farewell discourse, the coming of the Paraclete plays a role in the believer's ability to remember and to keep the commandments of Jesus after his departure. One of the Paraclete's roles is to 'remind you of all that I have said to you' (v. 26). The first mention of the Paraclete is found within the context of Jesus' words about keeping his command to love.
Verse 16 is the first reference to the Advocate or Paraclete (Greek, parakletos) (see also 14:26; 15:26-27; 16:7b-11; 16:12-15). The Greek word has a wide range of meanings, which are reflected in its many English translations: 'Comforter,' 'Advocate,' 'Counselor,' 'Helper.'
The Spirit (Paraclete) plays a larger role in the teaching of Jesus in John than in any of the other Gospels. The Paraclete is key to Jesus' preparation of his disciples for their life after his return to God. The prominence of the Paraclete addresses a key set of theological questions: If Jesus as the incarnate Word brings a distinctive revelation of God to the community, what happens when the incarnation ends? Was the revelation of God in Jesus available only for those who had firsthand experience of the historical Jesus and his ministry? Is Jesus' revelation of God limited to one moment in history, or does it have a future beyond its particular historical moment?
The farewell discourse positions the Paraclete as the link between the historical ministry of Jesus and the future life of the church after Jesus' death. Two central roles of the Paraclete emerge from the five Paraclete passages (14:16-17; 14:26; 15:26-27; 16:7-11; 16:12-15) as ways of extending the revelation of God in Jesus into the future: the Paraclete as the ongoing presence of Jesus in the postresurrection community and the Paraclete as teacher and witness. As the ongoing presence of Jesus, the Paraclete abides with the disciples and is not even seen or known by the world (14:16-17). As teacher and witness, the Spirit continues to speak as Jesus has spoken and aids the disciples' interpretation of the events of Jesus' life (14:26; 15:26; 16:13-14).
Jesus and God send the Paraclete to the community as a whole. (Throughout the farewell discourse, Jesus' words are addressed to a 'you' plural.) The Spirit in John is not a private possession of an individual believer. It is a gift to all disciples, witnessing to the life of Jesus and continuing to speak his word. The Spirit testifies to Jesus in the midst of a world that is filled with hatred (15:18-27), providing encouragement to the community in the face of persecution. The love of God made known in the incarnation continues into the life of postresurrection communities through the gift of the Paraclete.
Yet it is not only the Paraclete who will abide in the disciples; John also declares, 'I am coming to you' (v. 18). Jesus promises his future presence with the believing community. This presence is once again characterized by life: 'Because I live, you also will live' (v. 19). In its context here, Jesus' present-tense statement, 'because I live,' refers to Jesus' current life. Sandwiched between the future statements, however, it reminds the reader of the resurrected life Jesus lives after his death. In John, there is no conflict between these two ways of understanding the words 'because I live.' Even before his death and resurrection, Jesus is 'the resurrection and the life' (11:25). The 'eternal life' Jesus offers believers is one that is like Jesus' own life, both as it is witnessed during his earthly life and in his life on the other side of resurrection. Both represent a life that triumphs over the power of death."
John, O'Day, Gail R. and Hylen, Susan E.
Westminister John Knox Press (Apr 15 2006) pp. 146-49
Whoever lives the interpretation of these words
will no longer taste death.
(CF. JOHN 5:24, 8:51-52; MATT 13;10-15.)
Hermeneutics, or the art of interpretation, implies something more than exegesis, which often limits itself to reconstructing the context of a scripture in order to explain its structure and meaning— and forgets to look for deeper Meaning. It is like measuring the structure and thickness of the shell and forgetting to taste the almond inside it.
Hermeneutists are thirsty for Meaning and are not as interested in the color and form of the water jug as they are drinking at the Source that is accessible through the words. To be a hermeneutist in this sense means to live the interpretation of the logia of Yeshua. It means to become One—if only for a moment—with that Meaning. This moment of unity awakens in us the Presence of the Uncreated and the taste of something beyond that which is composite and therefore subject to decomposition—in other words, the taste of something beyond death.
There are different ways of interpreting a piece of music. Players sometimes do a disservice to the composer through their lack of inspiration or by using a badly tuned instrument, for instance. But the highest priority in the hermeneutical art is an awareness of the spirit in which we are interpreting the word in question. Is this spirit in harmony, in resonance, with the Life that breathes in the text that we are trying to translate? Of course, we must also have a good instrument, knowledge, and a cultivated intelligence and feeling so as to perceive all the harmonies of this subtle text.
The greatest musicians are those who—after long practice—are able to forget that they are interpreting. They become One with the inspiration that moved the composer, and the music is played through them as through an instrument.
Yeshua has become the interpreter who lives the meaning of Love and Live through deeds as well as words. His exegesis was written not only through his teaching, but also with his flesh, his blood, his laughter, and his tears. Those who had eyes to see saw him the Living One.
Jean-Yves Leloup, The Gospel of Thomas
Inner Traditions (2005) pp. 61-2
Book Description (Amazon.com)
Publication Date: February 16, 2005
A new translation and analysis of the gospel that records the actual words of Jesus
● Explores the gnostic significance of Jesus's teachings recorded in this gospel
● Explains the true nature of the new man whose coming Jesus envisioned
● Translated and interpreted by the author of the bestselling The Gospel of Mary Magdalene and The Gospel of Philip
One of the cache of codices and manuscripts discovered in Nag Hammadi, the Gospel of Thomas, unlike the canonical gospels, does not contain a narrative recording Christ's life and prophecies. Instead it is a collection of his teachings—what he actually said. These 114 logia, or sayings, were collected by Judas Didymus Thomas, whom some claim to be Jesus's closest disciple. No sooner was this gospel uncovered from the sands of Upper Egypt than scholars and theologians began to bury it anew in a host of conflicting interpretations and polemics. While some say it is a hodgepodge from the canonical gospels, for others it is the source text from which all the gospel writers drew their material and inspiration.
In this new translation of the Gospel of Thomas, Jean-Yves Leloup shows that the Jesus recorded by the "Infinitely skeptical and infinitely believing" Thomas has much in common with gnostics of non-dualistic schools. Like them, Jesus preaches the coming of a new man, the genesis of the man of knowledge. In this gospel, Jesus describes a journey from limited to unlimited consciousness. The Jesus of Thomas invites us to drink deeply from the well of knowledge that lies within, not so that we may become good Christians but so we may attain the self-knowledge that will make each of us, too, a Christ.
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi was
Christian by birth, Hindu by
marriage, and Paraclete by duty.
"The Paraclete represents direct,
intimate divine intervention,
supporting and teaching
believers and challenging the
world, as Jesus did." (D. Stevick
Jesus and His Own, 2011, 290)
To Achieve Complete Freedom, Cabella, Italy—May 7, 1995
"Birth, play, marriage, children, old age — life is finished. That is not living! Life is much deeper and more wonderful... When you know God there is no more sorrow.
All those you loved and lost in death are with you again in Eternal Life. The souls of those loved ones who departed before will come to welcome: fathers, mothers, wives, children, friends. Hundreds and thousands and millions of them! From hundreds and thousands and millions of past lives and rebirths! From hundreds and thousands and millions of millenniums ago! How many wives we must have had in previous lives and how many husbands God alone knows."
London, U.K.—June 21, 1981
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