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Jesus Appeals to the Law in Defence of his Sabbath "Work"—JN 7,21-23.24

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Chapter Summary

In analyzing John 7,19 it can be seen that John 7,14-24 constitutes a unit divided into three sub-sections (vv. 14-18; 19-20; 21-23) which are interrelated. The object of the controversy is the Sabbath healing, which is compared and contrasted with the practice of circumcising on the Sabbath, both being considered to be, in different ways, the fulfilment of the Mosaic Law. Whatever position is adopted concerning the baptismal background, 9,35-41 leaves no doubt about the intention of the evangelist: the blind man makes an act of faith in Jesus; the sin of the Pharisees remains. "Not doing the Law" cannot, consequently, refer to the violation of the Law by circumcising on this day. This chapter shows that these words have a much deeper meaning: the Jews do not do the Law because they do not believe in Jesus and, as a result, unjustly persecute and condemn him.

Keywords: Jesus; Jews; John; Mosaic law; Pharisees; Sabbath



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