Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Bite and devour

In an earlier post I had occasion to reference Galatians 5:15.  That in turn led to a consideration of the Galatians verse.

It strikes me that John 8:12-59 neatly illuminates the message of Galatians 5:15:

“If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you
 will be destroyed by each other.” Galatians 5:15 NIV

In John 8:12-59 an extended discourse allows us to observe various persons response to Jesus’s claims about himself.  Jesus identifies both who he is and what relationship he has with the Father.  The verses end with Jesus being judged by the people as a heretic for claiming himself to be greater than Abraham (verse 58).

The people bite and devour and Jesus warns them of such behaviour.  Israel has received its Saviour and yet is blind.

The biting and devouring behaviour of the people is depicted throughout the verses.  There is speculation by the people of Christ’s suicide (verse 22), that Christ is a Samaritan – that is a mongrel half-caste – in verse 48 and that Christ is demon-possessed (also, verse 48).  The people proudly claim themselves to be Abraham’s children (verse 39) yet do not benefit Christ himself that claim.

Jesus responds to such biting and devouring by escaping the people’s grasp (verse 20 and 59) and by warning them that their ways will bring their destruction (verse 51).

It is not without reason that Paul precedes the warning about biting and devouring with Galatians 5:14.  Galatians 5:14 reminds us to “Love your neighbour as yourself”!


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