Sunday, November 25, 2007

Study on the Gospel of John: Day 3

Today's sermon is based on Matthew 16:13-22 by Mr Louis Ratnam of Wycliffe Malaysia, who has made me see things in new ways with regards to bible translation, mission and Scriptures. I have never thought much of v.18: on this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I never quite saw it in light of mission - where the church is not static and neither is it on the defensive. The church is on the offensive and where it goes to proclaim the good news of the Lord, the gates of hell that protects cities and people will not stand against it. The church must move. I need to spend some time on these verses.

We then continued our study on John this afternoon with an indepth look into the passage on Jesus and Nicodemus. It is a very, very interesting pericope and among what was pointed out include:
1. Nicodemus came at night
2. Nicodemus never quite asked a question and Jesus didn't quite answered his implied question directly either
3. In calling Jesus a Rabbi, Nicodemus regarded Jesus as equal status
4. The phrase "the Kingdom of God" is seldom used in the Gospel of John
5. To Nicodemus, all Jews enters into the Kingdom of God automatically but now his belief is being challenged by Jesus
6. Nicodemus' question "he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?" may take a more than a natural meaning - it can mean that he is working out what Jesus mean when all along he has believed that entry into the Kingdom of God is by virtue of his ancestry
7. What Jesus meant by "unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" may not mean the usual take of 2 births - one natural and one spiritual but it could have an allusion to Ezekial 36:24-17 where being born "of water and the Spirit" is strictly one phrase being taken to mean just one thing, that one is being cleansed and softened to obey God



  1. I never thought of vs 18 that way either but what a great read on it!

    I was talking to a friend at chruch today - she was explaining why she named her son Kai, and the meaning behind it, and suddenly, I remembered the word you taught me - kiasu! So I was talking about you again in church today! Blessings!

  2. Hi Pearlie,

    hint hint - for more insight - check out the case ending of "night" in your point 1 concerning the visit of Nicademus - is it in genitive, dative or accusative? then find out the difference of genitive of time, dative of time and accusative of time. What kind of "night" is this? What is the author trying to emphasise? What insight would you gather from this?


  3. Julia,
    Should I remind you that kiasu is derogatory in nature? ;)

  4. Kar Yong,
    Now that you mentioned it, I have faint memory about tackling it when I was attending a bible study some years ago. It is genitive isn't it? I must check this out later tonight. Thanks for the heads up!

  5. Kar Yong,
    Thanks again for reminding me about this: I will certainly remember it for long this time :)

  6. I thought your people thought it was a good thing. I didn't know it was derogatory...

  7. Julia,
    Don't worry about it ... we usually use it to tease others :)