John 9 Sermon Analysis

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In light of choosing Barbara Brown Taylor’s John 9 sermon for my next sermon analysis, the assigned readings have proven to be quite beneficial. When I initially read John 9, I was taken back by the blatant anti-Judaic rhetoric. I was (and still am) unsure of the best way to propose a non-anti-Jewish approach to this sermon if I were to preach it from the pulpit. Nevertheless, Salmon assists in defusing some of the nasty anti-Jewish bombs that the Johannine community had laid throughout this text. It is helpful to understand the internal division existing amongst the Judean community and the anti-Roman sentiments. If the Johannine community was removed from the synagogue, does this mean they are excluded from interaction with God? If the synagogue…show more content…
Growing up, my Southern Baptist pastor spent seven years in the book, but I was too young to remember much of what was taught. The running joke at my church was that one could open the Bible and it would naturally turn to the book of Hebrews. But, after being two-thirds of the way through this course and rereading the epistle to the Hebrews, I cannot help but shudder at the thought of what my pastor preached weekly from the pulpit. I assume the anti-Judaism which emanated from his sermons would make the likes of Marilyn Salmon bemoan Christianity while John of Chrysostom would be smiling. What initially struck me, while reading Hebrews, was the vitriol aimed against Israel. The author of Hebrews, after consulting the ancestors, posits Jesus as superior to angels, superior to Abraham, and superior to Moses (Hebrews 3:3-5). Additionally, because of Israel’s discord in the desert, their generation has passed away and will not be joined with God. It is easy for one who is unaware of the anti-Jewish rhetoric to interpret this as replacement theology. Hebrews 4:1 may be the worst of them all: Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest is still open, let us take care that none of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2 For indeed the good news came to us just as to them; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.…show more content…
“The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not like the covenant that I made with their ancestors, on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; for they did not continue in my covenant, and so I had no concern for them, says the Lord. This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel” (Hebrews 8:8-10). The rest of the epistle goes on to acknowledge the faith of the ancestors acts as guides for the covenant. And yet, those who wandered in the desert seemed to fail their covenantal duty, according to the author of Hebrews. Perhaps, this author believes Jesus has come as the unifier who will unite both Jews and Gentiles into one covenant? Although this interpretation still seems supersessionist to me, it is the best perspective I can surmise from the readings. I look forward to Wednesdays lecture so that we can get to the heart of the
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