The Fifth Sunday in Lent
April 6, 2003
TITLE: I Hate My Life!
SERMON IN A SENTENCE: Christ calls us to lose our life in his service, and promises that the Father will honor us if we do.
SCRIPTURE: John 12:20-33
Some Greeks came to see Jesus. We wonder why John would mention this little detail. It was near the end of Jesus' life. The chief priests and Pharisees had given orders for his arrest. Jesus had come into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, to the cheers of the crowd. Mary had anointed his body for burial. Then, John says, some Greeks came to Philip, saying, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
When Philip and Andrew told Jesus that the Greeks wanted to meet him, Jesus responded by saying, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified." That seems pretty mysterious, but here is what was happening.
First of all, the coming of these Greeks signals that the whole world is coming to follow Jesus. Until this moment, God had been the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but not the God of the whole world. The arrival of these Greeks near the end of Jesus' life said that the exclusive relationship that the Jews had always enjoyed with God would soon be exclusive no more. It would no longer be, "For God so loved Israel," but "For God so loved the world."
Secondly, when Jesus said, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified," he meant that the time had come for him to die. Later, he would ascend into heaven and resume the glory that he had enjoyed from the beginning, but his pathway to that glory would be through the cross.
By way of explanation, Jesus gives this little parable: "Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." That is an interesting image, isn't it! The grain of wheat that says, "No, no! Don't put me in the ground! Don't bury me! Don't let me die!" never becomes anything. But the grain of wheat that allows itself to be buried so that it sprouts -- losing its original form and substance -- becomes a plant that produces much grain. The irony is that it is from the death of the grain of wheat that new life is born. The irony is that it is in dying on a cross that Jesus will bring new life to the world.
And then Jesus tells us that what is true for him is true for us as well. He says, "Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life."
In the other Gospels -- the Synoptic Gospels -- Matthew, Mark, and Luke -- Jesus tells his disciples that they must take up their cross and follow him. In this Gospel -- John's Gospel -- Jesus puts it this way: "Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life." When he says that, he is speaking to us. He is telling us that if we love our life we will lose it, but if we hate our life we will keep it.
We have to be very careful with this verse, because it would be very easy to turn it into something very different from what Jesus intended. There are plenty of people around who hate their lives. They say, "I'm not rich enough!" -- or "I'm not thin enough!" -- or "I'm not smart enough!" -- or "I'm not popular enough!" And so they conclude, "I hate my life!"
That is almost a teenage mantra, isn't it! I hate my life! But it is hardly limited to teenagers. There are plenty of people who hate their lives -- because they hate their job -- or hate their boss -- or hate getting up in the morning -- or hate having too many kids and too little money -- or whatever!
But that is hardly what Jesus was talking about. In fact, that is the opposite of what Jesus was talking about. People who complain that they aren't rich enough or thin enough or something-or-other enough are really saying, "I don't have enough!" -- or "I'm not pretty enough!" -- or "My life's no fun!" -- so "I hate my life!" The solution, as these people would see it, is to be richer, thinner, more popular, sexier, more athletic -- to have more of the things that would make them more attractive to other people -- to have more of the things that would make their lives fun!
But Jesus wasn't saying that we should be self-centered like that -- craving more stuff -- wanting more popularity -- wanting to be the star of the show. When Jesus said, "and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life," he was talking about people who were the opposite of self-centered -- the opposite of craving popularity -- the opposite of star-power. He was talking about people who care so little about the things of this world that they can follow in Jesus' footsteps -- people who live their lives in service to others -- people who make sacrifices for the cause of Christ -- people whose lives are centered on giving instead of taking.
I have friends like that. Don and Bridgett are missionaries to Haiti. In their youth, they felt that God was calling them to Haiti, one of the world's truly impoverished, unpleasant places. They worked their way through school to prepare themselves for life on the mission field. When I first met them, almost thirty years ago, they had completed their education, and were in the process of trying to master the dialect that most of the people speak in Haiti. Once they had done that, they went to Haiti, where they raised their family. They consider Haiti to be their home now. At least one of their children has just completed his training and has rejoined them in Haiti to help them in their work -- and ultimately to take over their work when they can no longer do it.
I have often thought that I would like to visit Don and Bridgett in Haiti. They are such wonderful people, and I love them. I have not made that visit, however, and I think that my hesitance to do so stems from my understanding of the way that they live there. They have electricity part of the time. They have phone service part of the time. They have running water part of the time. It is hot in Haiti -- really hot -- and I am sure that their house is not air conditioned. They had to home school their children. By my standards, they live in primitive, difficult circumstances. The truth is that I don't want to go to Haiti even for a visit, because it seems like such an unattractive place -- but Don and Bridgett have gone there for their life's work. They have done so out of their love for Christ -- and out of the love that Christ has given them for the Haitian people. They have lived there for nearly thirty years, and I would not be surprised if they die there.
You would think that Don and Bridgett would be unhappy with their circumstances. You would think that they would be beaten down by their poverty and the poverty that they see all around them. You would think that they would resent the sacrifices to which Christ has called them. You would think that they would be counting the days until they would complete their obligation so that they could return to civilization.
The truth is quite different. Don and Bridgett are living proof of the Beatitudes. Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit." Don and Bridgett are truly poor in spirit, and they are truly blessed. I don't think that they have an unhappy bone in their bodies. They love Christ -- and they love each other -- and their love their family -- and they love the Haitian people -- and I seriously doubt that there is a person on the face of this earth who is more content and fulfilled than they are. Jesus put it this way:
"Those who love their life lose it,
and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there will my servant be also.
Whoever serves me, the Father will honor."
Let me close by asking you to examine your own life. Are you one of those people who thinks, "I hate my life!" Are you unhappy because you aren't rich enough -- or thin enough -- or talented enough -- or sexy enough -- or whatever? If so, the world has all sorts of answers for you. It says, "Use this toothpaste!" or "Buy this car!" or "Take this vacation!" The world will tell you that the answer is becoming more self-centered -- more grasping -- more of a pleasure-seeker.
But Jesus will tell you the exact opposite. His prescription is that the only life worth living is a life of self-giving. Look at the people around you with fresh eyes, and you will see that it is true.
You will see quite a number of people who are looking for happiness in the things that they can get -- and you will see that they aren't quite there yet. If you look closely, you will often see an edgy, almost desperate quality to such people's lives -- always looking, but never quite finding -- always striving, but never quite getting there.
But you will also see people whom you admire for their quiet strength -- for their contentment -- for their happy lives. Look closely, and very often, at their core, you will find Christ. Jesus said, "Whoever serves me, the Father will honor." Believe it, because it is true! Do it, and receive the blessing!
CHAPTERS 11-12: THE CONTEXT
Chapter 11 tells the story of the raising of Lazarus (11:1-44), which causes the council and the high priest to plot Jesus' death (11:45-54). Chapter 12 opens with the story of Mary anointing Jesus at Lazarus' home, an anointing which Jesus says is "for the day of my burial" (vv. 1-8). The chief priests plot to kill Lazarus as well as Jesus, because "it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus" (vv. 9-11).
This is followed by the Palm Sunday story (vv. 12-19), which concludes with these words: "So the crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to testify. It was also because they heard that he had performed this sign that the crowd went to meet him. The Pharisees then said to one another, 'You see, you can do nothing. Look, the world has gone after him!' " (vv. 17-19). It is this feeling of powerlessness in the face of a charismatic, potentially dangerous, figure that impels the Pharisees to seek Jesus' death. Lazarus' resurrection will lead to Jesus' death.
VERSES 20-22: SIR, WE WISH TO SEE JESUS
20Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 21They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." 22Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
Some Greeks have come to worship at the festival (v. 20). They could be from Greece, the Decapolis (a group of ten Gentile cities near Galilee) or elsewhere. They could be proselytes to the Jewish faith or simply seekers after truth. They come to Philip to be introduced to Jesus, presumably because Philip has a Greek name and is from Bethsaida, near the Decapolis.
Jesus has become quite popular -- after all, the Pharisees' complaint is that the whole world is following after him (v. 19) -- so, as outsiders, these Greeks are looking for an introduction. Philip goes to tell Andrew, who also has a Greek name, and the two of them go together to tell Jesus of the Greek's request.
This is the last that we hear of the Greeks. They are important to the story, because their visit illustrates the truth of the Pharisees' statement, "Look, the whole world has gone after him" (v. 19) --and their visit prompts Jesus to acknowledge that his hour has come -- and Jesus will announce that, when he is lifted up, he will draw "all people" to himself, an obvious reference to Gentiles (including Greeks) (v. 32). However, John obviously considers the continued presence of the Greeks unnecessary, and they immediately disappear from view. John does not tell us whether they ever got to see Jesus.
VERSES 23-26: THE HOUR HAS COME
23Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.
Jesus says, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified" (v. 23). There are, in this Gospel, three earlier references to Jesus' hour:
-- At Cana, Jesus said to his mother, "My hour has not yet come" (2:4).
-- In Jerusalem, "they tried to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come" (7:30).
-- In the temple, "no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come" (8:20).
Now, finally, Jesus announces that his hour has come. The turning point was the raising of Lazarus, in response to which the world (including these Greeks) comes seeking Jesus, causing the opposition to Jesus to harden (v. 19). "Jesus is about to be slain, but the hour of his death is his lifting up, his exaltation, his glorification, his self-gift for the life of the world, the moment of gathering" (Moloney, 352). There is an allusion here to Isaiah's suffering servant, "See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high" (Isaiah 52:13).
We will soon see a paradox at work. The world is fickle. Those who shouted "Hosanna" on Sunday will shout "Crucify him" on Friday. "The world is a thoroughly unreliable place; neither its hostility nor its adoration can be trusted" (Brueggemann, 238). Jesus' opponents will succeed in killing him, but their apparent victory will turn to dust as Jesus emerges from the tomb and begins to draw all people to himself (v. 32).
The term, Son of Man, comes from Daniel 7, and was traditionally interpreted to mean a conquering hero who would usher in a kingdom that would last forever. When Jesus uses this term for himself, he surely arouses traditional messianic expectations -- that the messiah will raise an army and restore power to Israel.
Jesus, however, introduces a divine paradox. The seed must die if it is to bear fruit. The person who strives to play it safe dies, while the one who sacrifices life lives. The road to glory is servanthood. That was true for Jesus, and it is true for all who would follow him. "Preachers should preach regularly on the apparent failure the Gospel invites to, ending in death. A message of 'success' has to contain large elements of a siren song of 'this world'…. In John, cross and crown are one" (Sloyan, 156). Like Jesus, we are expected to be faithful even unto death and to trust God for vindication. "If Jesus' willingness extends to the point of death, his 'deacons' must follow him there. It is a hard place to go…, but if (this step) is taken, it is rewarded with a great gift: 'honor' from the Father" (Howard-Brook, 281).
Jesus says, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified" (v. 23). Jesus has not sought his own glory, but has sought to glorify the Father (8:50, 54; 12:28). "Jesus' being glorified is closely bound up with his refusal to seek his own glory… (and his willingness) to be utterly expended that God's purpose may be fulfilled, to disappear from sight as completely as the grain of wheat when the earth covers it over, to die in order that new life may spring up" (Bruce, 264).
VERSES 27-33: WHEN I AM LIFTED UP FROM THE EARTH
27"Now my soul is troubled (Greek: tetaraktai -- from tarasso). And what should I say--'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." 29The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him." 30Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 31Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler (Greek: archon) of this world will be driven out. 32And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." 33He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.
"Now my soul is troubled" (v. 27). This Greek word, tarasso, is used earlier at 11:33 to tell of Jesus' troubled soul at Lazarus' tomb. This Gospel includes no account of the Gethsemane story with Jesus' prayer, "Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me" (Matt 26:39). Jesus' question, "Should I say -- 'Father, save me from this hour'?" is this Gospel's equivalent. Jesus' answers his rhetorical question with a resounding, "No!" adding, "it is for this reason that I have come to this hour" (v. 27). Instead of offering a prayer for his own safety or glorification, Jesus prays, "Father, glorify your name" (v. 28).
"Then a voice came from heaven" (v. 28). In this Gospel, there is no account of the Transfiguration, with its voice from heaven. Again, we might think of this incident as the Johannine equivalent.
"I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again" (v. 28). "Jesus' prayer is met by 'the Father's answer' " (Schnackenburg, quoted in Moloney, 353). "The Father's name has been glorified in the revelation that has taken place through the ministry of Jesus…, and… now the revelation is about to be climaxed in the obedience of the Son on the cross and in his exaltation by the Father" (Beasley-Murray, 212). "The servant who does not stoop to his own will, but who performs the will of the one who sent him…is the one who glorifies God" (Carson, 440).
The crowd does not know what to make of the voice. Some interpret it as thunder and others think it is an angel's voice (v. 29). Jesus answers, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine" (v. 30). How can the voice be for the crowd's sake if they do not understand it?
-- For one thing, the rumble in the sky signals that something significant is happening. While the crowd does not understand the voice, they interpret it as an angel's voice or thunder (which in scripture is often associated with God's voice -- Exod. 9:23-33; 19:19; 1 Sam. 2:10; Ps. 18:13, etc.). In other words, for these people both thunder and an angel's voice are Godly sounds.
-- Second, the disciples will remember the voice. While they do not understand it at the moment, after Jesus' death and resurrection this voice will take on new meaning. Often, in our Christian walk, we understand only after much time has passed. There are some things that will become clear to us only after we are able to see God face to face.
"Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out" (v. 31). The twofold "now" ties in with Jesus' announcement that "the hour has come" (v. 23).
We think of God rendering judgment on the world at Jesus' second coming, but Jesus says that the judgment begins with his first coming. In this verse, he speaks twice of "this world," and we are reminded that he earlier said, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life" (3:16). While we are tempted to treat that verse as a promise of universal salvation, Jesus continued, "Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and the people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God" (3:18-21). Now that "the hour has come" (v. 23), the world will be judged based on their decision to come or not to come to the light.
"…now the ruler (Greek: archon) of this world will be driven out" (Greek: ekblethesetai -- from ekballo) (v. 31). Until now, John has used the word archon to refer to Jewish authorities who, with the exception of Nicodemus, were hostile (3:1; 7:26, 48). The last time that we heard the word, ekballo, "the Jews" -- meaning the Jewish leadership -- were responding to the blind man who dared to answer their hostile interrogation by testifying of Jesus, "If this man were not from God, he could do nothing" (9:33) -- so they drove him out (9:34). "It has been the 'rulers' in this world, Caiaphas, the priests and Pharisees, who have been opposing Jesus, to keep their power here and now. But behind them is the 'ruler of this world' who will now be 'cast out' " (Burridge, 543).
"And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself" (v. 32). This is the third time that Jesus speaks of being lifted up (3:14; 8:28). It is clear that he is speaking of the cross, because in 3:14 he draws a parallel between his being lifted up and Moses lifting the serpent up on a pole. For anyone who misses the point, John appends the explanation that "He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die" (v. 33).
However, in being lifted up, Jesus will also experience exaltation. Being lifted up on the cross is an act of obedience to the Father's will -- a carrying out of the mission for which Jesus has come to the earth (v. 27). By his death, Jesus will "draw all people to myself" (v. 32). "The Johannine church, separated by time and space from the initial events of Jesus' ministry, needed very much to hear this word of the presence and availability of Christ…. And we, too, need to hear that. We are not second-class disciples at a distance, born at the wrong time in the wrong place" (Craddock, 164).
The phrase, "all people," (v.32) does not point to universal salvation any more than do Jesus' words in 3:16. "Jesus is not affirming that the whole world will be saved; he is affirming that all who are saved are saved in this way. And he is speaking of a universal rather than a narrowly nationalistic religion. The death of Jesus would mean the end of particularism" (Morris, 531-532). "There is no limit to Jesus' saving power -- except the resistance of unbelief" (Schnackenburg, quoted in Beasley-Murray, 214). "It is the people's response to this offer that sets limits, not Jesus himself" (Perkins, 713).
While the rest of the world was able to see power only in its traditional forms (money, military might, political influence, etc.), Jesus saw power in the cross. History has shown that his vision was true. His suffering and sacrifice has indeed drawn billions of people to him -- people of every race, nation, and gender. The Jewish authorities who called for Jesus' death would soon see their temple leveled and their nation in ruins. Rome, the personification of worldly power, would fall to the barbarians soon enough. But Jesus, who chose the path of suffering and servanthood, called into being a kingdom that has survived where everything else has fallen. Sophisticates have scorned Christians and tyrants have killed them, but the church has weathered every criticism and outlived every tyrant.
TRUE STORY: (Top of page)
In his book, Kingdoms in Conflict, Charles Colson tells the story of Frieda Weststeyn. As a part of her volunteer work in a prison, Frieda noticed that a number of the female prisoners were pregnant. She began talking to them, and learned that they would have to give up their babies after they were born. In some cases, their families would take care of the babies, but in many cases they would be put up for adoption or go into foster homes.
Frieda's heart was broken when she thought of those mothers having to give up their babies. After talking to her husband, she decided to do something about it. She began caring for the babies of these prisoners in her own home. At the time that Colson wrote his book, Frieda was taking care of three babies -- Ryan, Petey, and Amber -- all three still in diapers. Most of the money for their support came from her own pocket, although a news story did bring in a number of donations.
Colson says, "There are hundreds of thousands of prisoners' children, one might respond. What difference can one person make? The answer is clear to Ryan, Petey, and Amber -- and their mothers."
He goes on to say, "Frieda's little platoon fulfills Augustine's view of Christian citizenship; she is loving the world by loving her particular neighbors. In her case they happen to be in prison."
THOUGHT PROVOKERS: (Top of page)
A Christian is the most free lord of all,
And subject to none;
A Christian is the most dutiful servant of all,
And subject to everyone.
-- Martin Luther
* * * * * * * * * *
Happy people seldom think of happiness.
They are too busy losing their lives in the meaningful sacrifices of service.
-- David Augsburger
* * * * * * * * * *
For the sake of each of us Jesus laid down his life --
worth no less than the universe.
He demands of us in return our lives for the sake of each other.
-- Clement of Alexandria
* * * * * * * * * *
Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others
Cannot keep it from themselves.
-- James M. Barrie
* * * * * * * * * *
We should empty our passions in the service of life,
Not spend life in the service of our passions.
-- Richard Steele
* * * * * * * * * *
HYMNS: Thanks to the Rev. Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia, pastor of Allendale United Methodist Church in St. Petersburg, Florida for the hymns.
Baptist Hymnal (BH)
Chalice Hymnal (CH)
Collegeville Hymnal (CO)
Gather Comprehensive (GC)
Lutheran Book of Worship (LBW)
Lutheran Worship (LW)
Presbyterian Hymnal (PH)
The Faith We Sing (TFWS)
The Hymnal 1982 (TH)
The New Century Hymnal (TNCH)
United Methodist Hymnal (UMH)
Voices United (VU)
With One Voice (WOV)
Beneath the Cross of Jesus (BH #291; CH #197; LBW #107; PH #92; TH #498; TNCH #190; UMH #297; VU #133)
In the Cross of Christ I Glory (BH #544; CH #207; CO #249; LBW #104; LW #101; PH #84; TH #441-442; TNCH #193-194; UMH #295)
Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken (BH #471)
Lift High the Cross (BH #594; CH #108; CO #542; GC #791; JS #383; LBW #377; LW #311; PH #84; JS #383; TH #473; TNCH #198; VU #151; UMH #159)
Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone (BH #475; UMH #424)
Open My Eyes (BH #502; CH #586; JS #448; PH #324; TH #371; UMH #454; VU #371)
JS #448 is a different hymn,
but is appropriate for the same reasons as the other hymn.
Open Our Eyes, Lord (BH #499, TFWS #2086)
Take Up Thy Cross (BH #494; CO #651; JS #253; LBW #398; LW #382; PH #393; TH #675; TNCH #204; VU #561; UMH #415)
also known as Take Up Your Cross
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (BH #144; CH #195; CO #263; JS #280; LBW #482; LW #114-115; PH #100-101; TH #474; TNCH #224; UMH #298-299; VU #149)
We Would See Jesus (UMH #256)
SCRIPTURES FOR UPCOMING WEEKS: (Top of page)
We follow the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) and use Gospel texts for Sundays only. The RCL tracks with the other major lectionaries most of the time, but there are occasional differences.
Palm Sunday Apr 13 Mark 15:1-39, (40-47)
Easter Apr 20 John 20:1-18
Easter 2B Apr 27 John 20:19-31
Easter 3B May 4 Luke 24:36b-48
Barclay, William, The Daily Study Bible, "The Gospel of John," Vol. 2 (Edinburgh: The Saint Andrew Press, 1955)
Beasley-Murray, George R., Word Biblical Commentary: John (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999)
Brown, Raymond, The Anchor Bible: The Gospel According to John I-XII (Garden City: Doubleday, 1966)
Bruce, F. F., The Gospel of John (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1983).
Brueggemann, Walter; Cousar, Charles B.; Gaventa, Beverly R. and Newsome, James D., Texts for Preaching: A Lectionary Commentary Based on the NRSV--Year B (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1993)
Burridge, Richard A. in Van Harn, Roger (ed.), The Lectionary Commentary: Theological Exegesis for Sunday's Text. The Third Readings: The Gospels (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001)
Carson, D. A., The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Gospel of John (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1991).
Craddock, Fred R.; Hayes, John H.; Holladay, Carl R.; and Tucker, Gene M., Preaching Through the Christian Year B (Valley Forge: Trinity Press International, 1993)
Gossip, Arthur John and Howard, Wilbert F., The Interpreter's Bible, Volume 8 (Nashville: Abingdon, 1952)
Howard-Brook, Wes, Becoming the Children of God: John's Gospel and Radical Discipleship (New York: Maryknoll, 1994).
Moloney, Francis J., Sacra Pagina: The Gospel of John (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1998)
Morris, Leon, The New International Commentary on the New Testament: The Gospel According to John (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1995).
O'Day, Gail R., The New Interpreter's Bible, Volume IX (Nashville: Abingdon, 1995)
Palmer, Earl F., The Book That John Wrote (Vancouver: Regent College Publishing, 1975)
Sloyan, Gerald, "John," Interpretation (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1988)
Smith, D. Moody, Jr., Abingdon New Testament Commentaries: John (Nashville: Abingdon, 1999)
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