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2962Re: Filling to the Brim?

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  • adisciple2 <smosher0@lycos.com>
    Jan 2, 2003
      Piet, I would affirm many of the connections you make concerning
      the water that prepares for, and then is replaced by, Jesus' "new
      gift."

      I might just add that the "new gift" could be consistently focused
      on the Spirit.

      Jn. 1:33 contrasts John's baptism with water and Jesus' baptism
      with the Spirit (no mention of fire in Jn.). Jesus' water is also
      present in the last passage you mention, where 7:37-39 points to the
      living water Jesus will offer after he is glorified.

      Living water is already the new gift Jesus offers in Jn. 4, yet when
      the woman asks for it Jesus does not (yet) give it. I think the
      living water here should also (as in 7:39) be seen as the Spirit,
      pointing in this context to the future day when true worshipers will
      worship in Spirit and truth.

      The new wine of Jn. 2 (regardless of links with fire and wine) could
      also be seen as the Spirit. If the "after two days" in 2:1 and Jesus'
      hour not yet coming point ahead to the future death and resurrection
      (after two days), then the turning water into wine could point to the
      living water/wine Jesus will give when his hour of glorification
      comes. After Jesus manifests his "glory" (in a proleptic way) through
      this sign/miracle, his disciples believe.

      Steve Mosher

      --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, <pi.veldhuizen@w...>
      wrote:
      > Jeffery asked:
      >
      > "In John 2:7, the servants fill the jars to the brim
      > with water. Was this normal procedure for large stone
      > jars used for ceremonial purification?"
      >
      > Although I do not know to what extent such jars used to be filled, I
      would
      > like to remark that an abundant supply of 'traditional' water is
      surely
      > "normal procedure" in John 1-7.
      > This supply is both in some sense praparatory to, and stands in
      opposition
      > to the new gift that Jesus is offering.
      >
      > In John 2 it is plenty of purification water in the jars - which
      seems to me
      > to symbolize fulfilment of the law "to the brim". It will not bring
      > salvation if it remains external, at the door - but brought inside
      and
      > touched by the word of Jesus it becomes a purifying power of another
      kind.
      > Wine is more like fire than like water..
      >
      > In John 3 there is plenty of water where John is baptizing - whereas
      no
      > water at all is mentioned when the mysterious baptismal practice of
      Jesus is
      > mentioned. The Baptist states the opposition: I am baptizing with
      water, he
      > will baptize with fire and spirit. The Baptist, the utter
      representant of
      > the Old Covenant, needs a full supply of water to prepare people for
      the
      > qualitative change that he himself cannot perform. In his last
      speech in
      > John, about the bridegroom, he himself is the one that, as it were,
      carries
      > the water into the wedding room where Jesus takes over to baptize
      with fire.
      >
      > In John 4 Jacob's Well presents a water supply sufficient for father
      Jacob,
      > all his sons and all his flock (verse 12). According to Jewish
      tradition,
      > Jacob's Well used to be filled to the brim every time when Jacob
      came to
      > draw water. Again, though not in the same way, this place of
      traditional
      > abundance is the starting point where Jesus takes over and offers
      his own
      > new gift instead.
      >
      > In John 5, Jesus comes to the pool of Bethesda and, not denying the
      actual
      > saving power of this abundant supply of water, touches the lame with
      his
      > word, offering his saving gift instead.
      >
      > In John 7, finally, Jesus appears at the Feast of Tabernacles, which
      > involved abundant outpouring of water by the priests in the temple
      court, at
      > the place where according to prophecy a river would spring forth at
      the day
      > of salvation and water all the land - and without bringing water
      Jesus
      > proclaims that faith in himself will make that river to flow out of
      your
      > inner self. And look - Jesus does not proclaim so at the beginning
      of the
      > feast, but at the end (7:37), when the feast is "filled to the
      brim".
      >
      > Is this to say that you cannot accuse the Johannine Jesus of not
      taking
      > tradition seriously? Or is it to say that Jesus'gift enters
      precisely there,
      > where the holy tradition is fulfilled to the brim - as its utter
      fulfillment
      > which fully acknowledges its weight before taking its place?
      >
      > Thank you, Jeffery, for this occasion to arrange some loose threads
      in my
      > mind!
      > Kind greetings and best wishes, let us fill this new year to the
      brim, and
      > may the word of Christ change all the water we'll carry into it,
      into wine!
      >
      > Piet van Veldhuizen
      > Rotterdam, Netherlands
      > pi.veldhuizen@w...
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