Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Saying 43


His disciples said to him, ‘Who are you to say these things to us?’

‘You do not know who I am from what I say to you. Instead, you are like the Judeans, becayse they love the tree but hate its fruit, or they love the fruit but hate the tree.’


Compare Sayings 18 and 37. Unlike previous dialogues, the question which the disciples ask is not regarding ‘the end of the age’, but the origin of Jesus’ authority. A common feature of these dialogues is for Jesus to emphasize that the disciples have misunderstood whatever point the author wants to address. Jesus’ response is based on the tree/fruit saying lifted from the synoptics, accusing his disciples of being moral hypocrites. This is combined with a concept of spiritual ‘knowledge’ more typical in John. The anti-Torah sentiment found in various additions from later additions to the book is expressed here with the overtly antisemitic comment that the disciples hypocrites because they ‘are like the Judeans’. This type of generalized disparagement of ‘the Judeans’ is also common in John (e.g. 2.18; 5.16; 6.41; 7.1; 8.48; 10.31; 11.8; 19.7).



11.27–28 Again they came to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to him and said, ‘By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?’


7.16–20 ‘You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.’

12.33–35 ‘Either make the tree good, and its fruit good, or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good things, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person brings good things out of a good treasure, and the evil person brings evil things out of an evil treasure.’

21.23 When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?’


6.43–45 ‘No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil, for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.’

20.1–2 One day, as he was teaching the people in the temple and telling the good news, the chief priests and the scribes came with the elders and said to him, ‘Tell us, by what authority are you doing these things? Who is it who gave you this authority?’


1.10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him, yet the world did not know him.

8.19 Jesus answered, ‘You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.’

14.8–9 Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me?’

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