Thursday, February 2, 2012
A Bit More Reflecting On The Gospel Of John
So here is another odd thing that interests me. In chapter 6 of the gospel of John, Jesus has gone up a mountain on the other side of the Sea of Galilee and a lot of people are following him. Jesus sees the crowd and maybe because it is noon or maybe Jesus himself is feeling hungry, he brings up the topic of food. And he asks Philip, "Where are we to buy bread so that these people may eat?"
John says that Jesus singled out Philip for this question "to test him." And then nothing more is said about this test. Philip gives a reply but doesn't even get mentioned again. I feel disappointed. What happened with this test? Did Jesus feed all those people just so he could test Philip? Or was that an afterthought?
John says that Jesus knew what he would do. Jesus knows what he is about to do, but he asks Philip a question that implies he wants to buy bread. A test. Odd test. Feels a little misleading even a tad deceptive. But, of course, I am thinking in terms of myself. Projecting onto Jesus how I would feel if I did something like that.
The only reason I might do something similar is to tease the other. To reveal a big surprise, a pleasant surprise, a happy surprise. Something like, "Oh, yeah, it's your birthday. Where are we going to buy a cake?" Full well knowing I have one made from scratch in the pantry and have planned a surprise party in the next room.
Who knows maybe that is the kind of testing that Jesus does. A teasing test so that he can reveal the surprise, the unexpected, the whatever that is in the next room.
Posted by Lisa Gonzales-Barnes